Sailors and Marines Practice Damage Control Procedures aboard USS New Orleans
USS NEW ORLEANS, At sea - Dozens of Marines from the 11th Marine Expeditionary unit (MEU) embarked aboard the amphibious transport dock ship USS New Orleans (LPD 18) trained alongside the ship's crew of Sailors to learn the principles of shipboard damage control, Jan. 5.
The exercises, conducted by the ship's damage control training team (DCTT), were designed to help Marines learn the basics of damage control aboard a Navy vessel and integrate the green-side manpower into the ship's damage control procedures.
"If we ever needed to use them, they would have the basic knowledge to make them effective in a damage control situation," said Chief Damage Controlman Jody Schilling, New Orleans' DCTT leader.
Schilling said that in the event of a major shipboard emergency, all hands would be involved, and the Marine manpower would be extremely important.
"Some of the things Marines are really good at can be applied to damage control," said Schilling. "We want to use their skill sets, and apply our skill sets, so we can make a more effective team."
Training consisted of the basic fundamentals of damage control including dewatering, pipe patching, hose handling, personal protective equipment and how to dress-out properly.
"We want everyone [on the ship] to have the basic DC fundamentals," said Schilling. "You want to train to be prepared for everything. If the time comes when we have to execute, I want to make sure we're ready to go."
The exercises also served as a refresher for New Orleans' Sailors, who are required to go through basic damage training when they report to the command.
"Whenever a Sailor checks on board, they immediately get the overall basics," said Damage Controlman 1st Class Justin Kuhlman. "This is a bit more hands on, but they should already be familiar with everything here."
Lance Cpl. Justin Mischloney, a Marine assigned to the 11th MEU who took part in the training, said the training served as a way to help him get familiar with all the damage control equipment in case he was ever called upon to help in an emergency.
"I feel it's really important we all know this," said Mischloney. "We outnumber the Sailors and if anything happens and a Sailor becomes a casualty, a Marine will have to step in and take his place."
New Orleans is part of the Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group (ARG), supporting maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility.