USS New Orleans
"Victory from the Sea"
New Orleans Completes Key Damage Control Certification
130618-N-YR391-004 U.S. Navy file photo of USS New Orleans (LPD 18), Jun. 2013.
New Orleans Completes Key Damage Control Certification
SAN DIEGO – The amphibious transport dock ship USS New Orleans (LPD 18) successfully completed the Mobility Damage Control Warfare (MOB-D) assessment, June 12.

Afloat Training Group (ATG) Pacific assessed the New Orleans’ proficiency in responding to casualties and keeping the ship afloat in simulated emergency situations.

“MOB-D is one of the few certifications that involves one hundred percent of the ship,” said Capt. Douglas Verissimo, the commanding officer of New Orleans. “The crew worked together as a team, and the success of the inspection is a reflection of their hard work.”

The “Big Easy” conducted 34 drills from June 8-12 covering fires, floods, and toxic gas leaks along with chemical, biological, and radiological (CBR) attacks. Ship-wide drills tested the proficiency of all four repair lockers and each inport emergency team.

“One of the most difficult challenges we faced was training our newly reported personnel,” said Senior Chief Damage Controlman (SW) Christopher Whitebread. “When it came time for the assessment, we were motivated and we knew what we were doing.”

MOB-D is broken up into multiple stages spaced over several months. The first two stages consist of a material readiness review of damage control equipment and then shipboard training in core fundamentals, such as fire hose handling, pipe patching, and erecting shoring to defend against structural damage.

During the third stage, ATG provided hands-on training during two weeks of damage control drills. New Orleans’ Damage Control Training Team (DCTT) ensured Sailors were able to combat any casualty.

“We came a long way from when we first started. After hours of training and running different scenarios, it was great to see the crew become experts in damage control,” said Damage Controlman 2nd Class Cassidy Cole, a member of DCTT and the ship’s elite “Flying Squad.”

MOB-D culminated in a final week-long assessment where ATG observed damage control drills. The entire ship was involved during the General Quarters drills, completing a Mass Casualty and a CBR drill.

“The mass casualty drill was the most difficult evolution of the week,” said Chief Warrant Officer Three Chad Hodges, the ship’s damage control assistant. “The ship was required to combat several casualties at the same time -- it is very fast-paced.”

The crew was also required to complete a written level of knowledge exam covering basic damage control.

New Orleans is currently in its training cycle preparing for a future deployment.

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