USS FREEDOM (LCS 1), South China Sea – Sailors assigned to the littoral combat ship USS Freedom (LCS 1) conducted a damage control stand-down Sept. 9 to strengthen the crew’s core knowledge of the basics of damage control. Freedom is currently underway for Southeast Asia Cooperation and Training (SEACAT), and working with partner navies in the 7th Fleet area of operation.
“It is imperative to maintain damage control standards,” said Chief Operations Specialist Tim Rau, a damage control training team leader. “We conduct our training like it is the real deal so if such matters ever occurred, we will be ready for whatever may come our way.”
The training included several damage control stations including de-smoking, self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) fundamentals, repair locker familiarity, pipe patching, investigator and boundary training. The all-hands evolution ensured that every Sailor on board this minimally manned ship received the same basic damage control training.
“You never know what job you may have when it comes to Freedom damage control,” said Rau. “Our Sailors need to be able to take any position when the time calls for it; whether it be an on-scene leader or a hoseman.”
Boatswain’s Mate 3rd Class Daniel Dullien checked onboard Freedom last June and says the training has been a valuable experience. “This is my first ship so I had a lot of damage control catching up to do,” said Dullien. “But the stand-down has really built my overall confidence and knowledge in damage control.”
Freedom’s Executive Officer Cmdr. Rodger Heinken supervised each training station and said each station was focused on the basic elements of each topic. “It is not about how advanced we can be,” said Heinken. “It is about how well we know the essentials and how well we can combat the casualty.”
“The crew was very receptive and energetic in response to the training,” said Freedom’s Command Master Chief Christopher Kotz. “As important as it was for me teaching, I believe they felt it was important to learn as well. I have confidence that they will do a tremendously great job with these basics.”