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USS Ashland Sailors Ensure Ship's Protection in Persian Gulf

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS050602-11
Release Date: 6/2/2005 2:48:00 PM

By Photographer’s Mate 1st Class Aaron Ansarov, Fleet Combat Camera Atlantic Public Affairs

ABOARD USS ASHLAND, Persian Gulf (NNS) -- Two Sailors aboard the Norfolk-based USS Ashland (LSD 48) ensure the ship's countermeasure washdown system is fully functional and ready for use as the ship conducts maritime security operations (MSO) in the Persian Gulf May 28.

Damage Controlman 3rd Class Nicholas Wagner and Seaman Dariusz Jura are responsible for inspecting every sprinkler of the ship’s countermeasure washdown system lining the outer skin of the ship aboard Ashland.

A ship such as Ashland can have hundreds of sprinklers. If any one is closed up, Wagner and Jura use metal picks to clear them out because these sprinklers are vital. They envelop the ship with salt water in the event of a chemical, biological or radiological attack. The water will speed the weathering process and help limit the spread of contamination.

“If our systems detect an agent, the ship will activate the wash down and completely wash the ship,” Jura said. “Sometimes with normal painting and maintenance of the ship's decks, the sprinklers can get overlooked or clogged with debris.”

Ashland transports and helps Marines land ashore and support sustained combat operations from the sea. A 440-feet well deck, a flight deck able to land and launch CH-53E helicopters; the Navy's latest diesel propulsion and engineering technology; advanced communication and combat systems; 20- and 60-ton cranes; expanded repair facilities; complete medical and dental facilities; and troop berthing accommodations place the ship on the leading edge of amphibious warfare. The countermeasure washdown system helps protect its Sailors and Marines from threats inherent in modern warfare.

Ashland, a Whidbey Island-class dock landing ship, is conducting MSO in the North Persian Gulf as part of Commander, Task Force 58.

MSO set the conditions for security and stability in the maritime environment as well as complement the counter-terrorism and security efforts of regional nations. MSO deny international terrorists use of the maritime environment as a venue for attack or to transport personnel, weapons, or other material.

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