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Enterprise Launches Readiness Preps with Torpedoes

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS090916-18
Release Date: 9/16/2009 3:48:00 PM

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Devonté Jones

USS ENTERPRISE, Newport News, Va. (NNS) -- USS Enterprise's (CVN 65) Weapons Department is preparing for a major drill on Sept. 18 as part of the ship's overall effort of training toward getting underway.

The gunner's mates will be working in collaboration with the Engineering Department's Damage Control (DC) division during an auto-fuel-spill drill to test the crew's ability to respond.

The drill will be part of a torpedo-readiness assessment conducted by Naval Air Forces Atlantic (AIRLANT) and will simulate torpedoes and the fuel they contain catching fire in various armories aboard.
Carriers use torpedoes to conduct anti-submarine warfare via helicopters against enemy submarines and other submerged threats.

"The torpedo readiness assessment is when AIRLANT inspects our ability to build, disassemble and maintain torpedoes for helicopter squadrons," said Gunner's Mate 2nd Class (SW) Homer R. Small, G-2 division's work center supervisor and leading gunner's mate.
Small also stated that the drill itself would be a test of their skills protecting the ship from possible harm caused by the torpedoes they oversee.

"The drill will be a simulated torpedo-fuel spill," Small said. "Torpedoes are pressurized so if they spill, the fuel can get everywhere, and this can make it difficult to contain. This will test our ability to contain and clean up during such an incident."

Additionally, Small stated that his division has specialized training in such scenarios, and they will be working with other divisions as they would in a real-life incident to enhance their ability to contain the danger.

"No one else is trained to deal with this kind of situation aboard," said Small. "We will be working with the DC division, Medical and Security departments for this to go well, and we anticipate it will."
Chief Damage Controlman (SW/AW) James E. Waddell, DC division's leading chief petty officer, stated that his division will work closely with G-2 division for this exercise.

"Our division leans toward the training side of things," said Waddell. "If the weapons team gets injured, DC has to know how to go in and fight this fire, and they need to know how to deal with extinguishing torpedo fires."

Waddell said that torpedo fires require different approaches than typical shipboard fires.

"It's a special situation," said Waddell. "You can't just go in with a hose and start spraying high-pressure water on torpedoes and their fuel. There's a way to do it properly, and that's what we're trained for."

Enterprise is currently undergoing a maintenance period in the Northrop Grumman Newport News Shipyard and training to maintain proficiency in preparation to return to the fleet.



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