USS BOXER, At sea – On deployment, troops must prepare for the unexpected, but when Sailors step up to make things happen in record time, the mission gets accomplished and people come together as a team.
Last month, that’s exactly what happened onboard in USS Boxer’s(LHD 4) Engineering department.
The department replaced a Deballasting Air Compressor (DBAC) in remarkably short time Aug. 24. One of the DBACs seized and engineers deemed it completely inoperable. The problem required complicated logistics and tenacious Sailors, not just to complete the task, but to complete it in only half a day.
“The scope of work for this job is typically completed in approximately five days,” said Lt. j.g. Gaylan Greenawalt, from engineering department. “This is a phenomenal achievement and a testament of Auxiliary Division’s mental fortitude and dedication to mission. They displayed an unmatched will to succeed as well as their abilities to make vital repairs to critical equipment,” he said.
The DBAC is an air compressor used to remove water from the ship’s ballast tanks in order to intentionally flood or empty the well deck.
“If we cannot deballast, the ship cannot perform the mission it is designed for: amphibious operations,” said Machinist’s Mate 1st Class Eric Marroquin, who helped perform the repairs.
The crew swiftly swapped out the air compressor thanks in part to logistical coordination between the Operations, Engineering and Supply departments, Combat Cargo and technicians working with the Dresser Rand Company.
“It took teamwork and flexibility; we rotated people in to cover watches and then after watch we would head back to work,” said Marroquin. “We had positive attitudes and played lots of music to keep the tempo going.”
Assisted by brothers Zachary and Robert Fischer from Dresser Rand Company, the Auxiliary division, or “A-gang”, worked through the night beginning around 5 p.m. They managed to replace the compressor by 4 a.m. the next morning.
“As far as the Auxiliary division goes, we are family,” said Marroquin. “We all come together when someone needs help and are always there to support each other. ”
Logistics alone, while necessary, is not sufficient to pull off a repair of this scope in the amount of time that the Boxer crew completed the work. The DBAC repair is just one of many thankless jobs that proves these Sailors live by hard work and dedication.
“We’ve had a lot of sleepless nights to ensure the crew has their hot and cold water, their air conditioning and the basic necessities that are taken for granted,” said Marroquin. “What my guys do every day is nothing short of amazing and I’m proud of them.”