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NAVSTA Rota Completes Integrated Fire Drill with FDNF Ships

Navy News Service

Story Number: NNS160808-24
Release Date: 8/8/2016 3:31:00 PM

By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman M. Jang, Naval Station Rota, Spain Public Affairs

ROTA, Spain (NNS) -- Guided-missile destroyers USS Donald Cook (DDG 75), USS Porter (DDG 78) and personnel assigned to Naval Station Rota's Fire and Emergency Services department conducted a major integrated fire drill on the pier, Aug. 3.

This was the first integrated fire drill evaluated by the Navy Region Europe, Africa, Southwest Asia (EURAFSWA) assessment team since the arrival of the four Forward-Deployed Naval Force (FDNF) destroyers. It was also part of a larger basewide annual assessment known as Reliant Toro.

The purpose of the drill was to ensure a fire was fought properly while demonstrating with appropriate communication, safety and equipment handling.

"The objective of this fire drill is to test and see if we have the capabilities to help the ships fight fires," said Air Traffic Controller 1st Class Brittany Buttrey, Installation Training Team (ITT) safety officer. "If we don't have the capability, we find that out during the drills and we learn our lessons from the drills and we get what we need, or complete the training that we need to complete to be able to be a fully functioning fire team."

The exercise began aboard Donald Cook where a simulated fire was reported and Sailors rushed to the scene to try to contain it from spreading and eventually put it out.

The simulated fire became too large for Sailors to tame so they requested assistance from base firefighters as well as Sailors from Porter.

"The ship has their own fire team and they're capable of fighting their own fires, but this fire gets out of hand," said Buttrey, "and since the ship is in kind of a dry dock environment, they don't have the proper fire teams there that they need. Eventually when the fire gets out of hand it spreads too much where they cannot contain the fire. That's when they will call in for assistance from [Naval Station] Rota."

Leadership from numerous organizations including base firefighters, security and port operations assembled in the Incident Command Post to communicate to the proper authorities for any additional needs.

"They'll talk about if they need more fire hoses, make sure that the triage area is set up, [and] make sure that there's a rehab area for everybody if there are injuries," said Buttrey. "They're going to make sure we have the equipment that we need to take care of the injuries."

Every organization has its own criteria checklist that is evaluated and assessed after the drill, and they discuss what areas went smoothly and what may need improvement.

Cmdr. Timothy Moore, Donald Cook commanding officer, said the overall objective of the exercise was safety because of the various personnel involved.

"We have all these different languages and ways to communicate, trying to come and combat with one fire," said Moore. "Safety is key. The way I interpret a phrase might not be the way somebody else interprets it and it can lead to some sort of system casualty or personnel casualty. To work through this, we do it [slowly] and we do it [safely]. In the end, we hope that the fire is out on the ship and all personnel disembarked the ship safely."

Reliant Toro included about 130 participants who created the overall team-building exercise to improve and prepare for future integrated drills.

"Once again the bottom line is lessons learned," said Moore. "We have our shipboard processes. Now it's integrating the other ship, the base, [and] the emergency operations center in making this a true team-building effort."

Naval Station Rota enables and supports operations of U.S. and allied forces and provides quality services in support of the fleet, fighter, and family for Commander, Navy Installations Command in Navy Region EURAFSWA.

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