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Damage Control a Major Focus for ULTRA "S"

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS100617-18

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class (SW/AW) Johnny Michael

USS WASP, At Sea (NNS) -- USS Wasp (LHD 1) is preparing for Unit Level Training Assessment-Sustainment (ULTRA-S) inspection July 19-23 and one critical area of focus is damage control.

ULTRA-S inspection gauges a ship's ability to train its crew in warfare areas such as damage control, combat systems, aviation, navigation, medical, and maintenance material management (3M). Damage control is the largest area in terms of manpower, and various facets of the inspection will touch on how the entire crew reacts during a damage control casualty.

"ULTRA-S is basically ULTRA-(Engineering) and ULTRA-(Combat) combined, only fewer overall drills," said Senior Chief Damage Controlman (SW/AW) David Britton, Wasp damage control training team coordinator. "For damage control, we can expect a total ship's survivability exercise, main space fire drill, in-port emergency team drill, and at-sea fire party drill."

While training teams from each warfare area have a lot of work to do to ensure success for their particular assessment scenarios, the comprehensive nature of the damage control drill requires an entire division to prepare the ship and its crew.

"Repair division is responsible for training the crew, verifying that all repair lockers are properly inventoried, and that all damage control equipment is properly maintained," said Damage Controlman 2nd Class (SW) Kevin Fishbach. "For ULTRA-S, our biggest thing is to keep people motivated. The crew looks to us as the experts and it's up to us to keep them trained and motivated."

Every Sailor aboard Wasp will have an important role to play. Even those who do not normally have positions during General Quarters drills will need to do their part in maintaining boundary and zebra settings which keep the ship at its highest level of water and airtight integrity.

"Material condition readiness will be key. Everyone plays a part in setting the correct material condition, and the ship's crew will need to have high situational awareness of setting zebra – even if they are not in a repair locker," Britton said. "Everyone has to play a part for us to be successful."

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