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Blue Ridge Holds Safety Standdown

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS070921-17
Release Date: 9/21/2007 4:30:00 PM

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class David Hewitt, USS Blue Ridge Public Affairs

USS BLUE RIDGE, Yokosuka, Japan (NNS) -- As USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19) enters its annual Ship’s Restricted Availability (SRA) period, the command held a safety standdown Sept. 19.

The SRA was held to ensure the crew understands the safety risks that could accompany such a drastic change in the working environment. Sailors put down their tools for the morning and assembled at the Fleet Theater on Yokosuka Naval Base to learn and refresh their knowledge of hazards throughout the ship.

During the SRA period, hazards not present during a ship’s regular underway functions emerge, giving Sailors a different set of criteria to consider concerning safety. As a result, during the ship sponsored standdown, several areas were covered which included hearing and vision protection, proper personal protective equipment, traffic safety, and operational risk management.

While teaching two courses on heat stress and vision conservation, Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Jose Velascosoltero takes his role as a medical specialist and educator with pride.

“Getting this information out to the crew is very important,” he said. “Hopefully the Sailors here today will implement these actions in their every day lives.”

The safety standdown offers practical information that can be used by the Sailor in every day situations. Damage Controlman 3rd Class Terry Smith is the training petty officer of Blue Ridge’s repair division and believes that everyone came away from the event with something important.

“I’ve been to a safety standdown before from other ships,” he said, “And learning things about safety makes you more aware of things going on around you while on the ship and off the ship on liberty too.”

Once a biannual evolution, Blue Ridge is now organizing and presenting a safety standdown for every quarter. In charge of ensuring this training is accomplished as seamlessly as possible is the ship’s 1st Lt. and Training Officer Lt. Anthony Savage, who arranged the day’s event.

“I reviewed the information that the speakers were putting out to make sure it fit for time and was relevant,” he said when speaking on the subject of how the standdown went, “And I just kind of got lucky with the type of speakers we had. The crew was entertained and I think they enjoyed this quite a bit.”

“The main objective of the safety standdown is to have the crew walk away with information that they can use and so that they can become more aware of their every day surroundings when identifying risks,” he noted.

Blue Ridge is commanded by Capt. David A. Lausman and serves under Commander, Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) 7/Task Force (CTF) 76, the Navy’s only forward-deployed amphibious force. Blue Ridge is the flagship for Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet. Task Force 76 is headquartered at White Beach Naval Facility, Okinawa, Japan, with an operating detachment in Sasebo, Japan.



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