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GW's 'At-Sea Fire Party' Completes Inspection Requirements

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS080314-07
Release Date: 3/14/2008 12:02:00 PM

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Tanner Lange, USS George Washington Public Affairs

NORFOLK (NNS) -- "Fire, fire, fire..." booms from the ship's announcing system March 10 followed by a staccato ringing of bells and the pounding of boots down passageways.

Calls of "Make way!" are heard as red coverall-clad Sailors of USS George Washington's (CVN 73) (GW) Damage Control At-Sea Fire Party (ASFP) rush to the location of a casualty drill.

The ASFP is the first line of defense for any major damage control casualty aboard the ship, said Damage Control Assistant, Lt. Cmdr. Stephen Sims.

During this underway, members of the ASFP were extremely busy over the last month helping GW through its Tailored Ships Training Availability and Final Evaluation Problem (TSTA/FEP) by undergoing extensive drills to gauge the ship's damage control readiness and performance.

"The At-Sea Fire Party was required to conduct two JP-5 pump room fire drills, two toxic gas drills, and three rescue and assistance drills during TSTA," said Sims. "For FEP, we were required to run one JP-5 pump room fire, one toxic gas drill, and one rescue and assistance drill for an overall grade."

The ASFP completed every TSTA/FEP inspection requirement ahead of schedule.

"We successfully completed our evaluation earlier than expected because the At-Sea Fire Party and the Damage Control Training Team (DCTT) worked together and performed above standards during the drills," said Sims.

Damage Controlman 2nd Class (SW) Jared A. Carpenter, an At-Sea Fire Party on-scene leader, felt the inspection went very well and was pleased with the results. He credited their accomplishment to DC division's challenging training regimen.

"The constant training and drilling enabled us to anticipate everyone's moves during the casualties, and we were able to execute without hesitation," he said. "It's important to trust one another, and now we have gained that trust due to this rigorous inspection."

"A lot of the At-Sea Fire Party members are relatively new to the ship, so it was impressive how we came together to knock this inspection out of the park," said Carpenter. "I would gladly walk into any casualty with this team."

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