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Blue Ridge Completes Engineering Assessment

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS050804-08
Release Date: 8/4/2005 2:57:00 PM

By Machinist's Mate 2nd Class Kristina Moore, USS Blue Ridge Public Affairs

YOKOSUKA, Japan (NNS) -- USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19) successfully conducted Limited Team Training (LTT) July 25-29 to assess engineering and damage control capabilities.

Members from Afloat Training Group (ATG) Western Pacific in Yokosuka observed and offered feedback on Blue Ridge steam plant operations and the crew’s ability to respond to a fire in the main space.

“LTT is a very complicated ballet, with many people having to do the right thing at the right time,” said Blue Ridge Commanding Officer Capt. J. Stephen Maynard. “You can tell from the results we’ve worked and trained hard.”

Throughout the course of the three-day training period, ATG put the ship’s engineering watch teams through multiple scenarios, testing their knowledge of everything from the engineering operating sequencing system to their ability to safely shut down the plant during an emergency.

The Blue Ridge fire fighting teams were also put to the test and judged on their ability to properly and safely combat a class “bravo”, or chemical-based, fire in the boiler and engine room. The fire fighters demonstrated their motivation, know-how and gritty determination, attacking the fires and learning from the suggestions offered by the visiting observers.

Blue Ridge Executive Officer Lt. Cmdr. John D. Wilshusen and the Damage Control Training Team (DCTT) spent many hours planning drill sets and training repair locker members for these scenarios, stressing the importance of teamwork in ensuring a successful effort.

“This assessment involves the whole ship, whether the crew realizes it or not,” said Wilshusen. “The focus may be engineering, but it takes everyone pulling together as a team to successfully complete an evolution such as this.”

The firefighting teams and main space watchstanders weren’t the only ones excelling under the watchful eye of ATG inspectors. The auxiliaries, electrical and repair divisions stepped up to the plate and delivered, as they ensured all discrepancies within their areas of responsibility were immediately fixed and up to specifications.

Damage Controlman 3rd Class Robert Spangler, of San Bernardino, Calif., said the Sailors of Repair division were on top of fixing the discrepancies found by inspectors and provided the same quick and professional service the crew has come to expect.

“We immediately took care of every job thrown at us,” Spangler said. “Whether it was a broken railing in the engine room or a steam leak in a fan room, we were all over it and getting the job done.”

As the assessment wrapped up, Maynard praised the efforts of his crew and expressed his happiness with being able to lead a crew of so many talented and motivated Sailors.

“Engineering worked hard,” he said. “They steamed the ship for over 140 days without a casualty and have a considerable amount of pride in ownership. They give it their all every time. I’m very proud of these guys, and I want to make sure they know how important they are to the mission and its overall accomplishment. They deserve the recognition.”

Blue Ridge supports a variety of missions by providing a robust communications suite to allow the U.S. 7th Fleet commander, Vice Adm. Jonathan W. Greenert, and his embarked staff to provide guidance and direction to U.S. Naval forces in the region.

Blue Ridge is permanently forward deployed to the Western Pacific and operates out of Yokosuka, Japan.

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