EAST CHINA SEA – Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard’s (LHD 6) engineering department successfully re-validated their Mobility-Engineering (MOB-E) certification, Feb. 1.
The MOB-E certification ensures that the engineering plant watch standers and the engineering training team have all the skills necessary to run the plant safely, respond to any casualty that may occur, and qualify newly reported personnel.
“This certification validation is important as this certifies the MOB-E warfare area for another two years,” said Lt. Cmdr. Enrique Ortiguerra, Bonhomme Richard’s main propulsion assistant. “This gives us the opportunity to shift our focus on other important areas such as the upcoming 3M [maintenance material management] inspection and preparations for INSURV [Inspection and Survey].”
MOB-E certification requirements include all engineers effectively display their in-rate knowledge and confidence in combating multiple simultaneous main engineering space casualties.
To qualify, watchstanders must properly perform initial actions on a major fuel oil leak, combat a class “bravo” or fuel fire, and safely evacuate the space due to an out of control fire.
Following their evacuation, the drill moves on to the damage control portion of the event, manning a fully equipped assessment team and back up hose teams.
The damage control portion includes three major actions; successfully isolating the space, activating HALON (bromotriflouromethane) and aqueous film-forming foam firefighting agents, and finally assessing the space for further damage.
“A lot of long hours, hard work and dedication went into the mix preparing for this event,” said Ortiguerra. “This is a team effort and when engineers succeed, we all succeed.”
Engineering plant casualty control makes up one of the largest and most important requirements that a Navy ship faces prior to getting underway. A ship must be certified in MOB-E in order to be allowed to leave port.
“Without us, we don’t get underway. Plain and simple,” said Lt. Cmdr. Eric Williams, Bonhomme Richard’s chief engineer. “We had a rough time of training, with holiday stand-down and port and starboard watches, but this department went above and beyond what was required.”
With a score of 85% for watch section one and 95% for watch section two, Capt. Daniel Dusek, Bonhomme Richard’s commanding officer, said he was very proud of his engineering department’s achievement.
“If I had time, I would personally congratulate every Sailor in engineering department,” said Dusek. “As it stands all I will say is bravo zulu, you guys really earned it.”