USS Higgins
First to Fight!
 

130513-N-UP025-001 At Sea (May 12, 2013) - Gunner's Mate Second Class Johana Castaneda dresses out in fire fighting gear as part of a relay during the USS Higgins Damage Control (DC) Olympics at sea on May 12. The DC Olympics is a practical training competition testing the crew's damage control knowledge and physical skills. Higgins is deployed to the 5th Fleet area of responsibility promoting maritime security operations and support missions for Operation Enduring Freedom. (U.S. Navy Photo released by Ens Kara Lynn Yingling/ Released)
USS HIGGINS Hosts Damage Control Olympics Onboard 
ENS Kara Lynn Yingling 
At Sea – Sailors assigned to the guided missile destroyer USS Higgins (DDG 76) participated in a Damage Control (DC) Olympics while the ship was underway, May 12.

The DC Olympics is a practical training competition pitting the ship's departments, Wardroom and Chief’s Mess against each other in a host of contests to test their DC knowledge and their physical skills.

"The DC Olympics allowed Sailors the opportunity to handle damage control situations in a competitive, safe and fun setting to gage their skills," said Cmdr. Andrew Carlson, HIGGINS’s Commanding Officer

The competition consisted of multiple relay races, such as fire fighting ensemble dress out, hose handling on the flight deck and pipe patching stations.

Ltjg. Elizabeth Karlins, the Damage Control Assistant, noted that the event allowed Sailors to demonstrate their knowledge of general damage control equipment and several fire extinguishing systems. The Olympics also provided Sailors with opportunities to work in teams. She said, “Damage Control is one of the most fundamental skills every Sailor is expected to have. Every Sailor is a firefighter. This event not only allows the crew a break from our normal routine, but gives them a chance to put their damage control knowledge to the test.”

Engineering Department won the overall shipboard competition. For their efforts, the department received a commemorative trophy.

ENS Travis Turner, the Strike Officer, said the event reinforced readiness, damage control preparation, fun, and a feeling of purpose in the participants.

"It was a great opportunity for people to practice damage control in a fun and competitive environment," said Turner, "We were able to build departmental and command teamwork while still emphasizing a fundamental skill in shipboard life."

HIGGINS is deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility promoting maritime security operations, theater security cooperation efforts and support missions for Operation Enduring Freedom.
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