Preparing for the Worst to Perform at Their Best

By IT2(SW/IW) Joseph Jimenez, USS Chancellorsville

YOKOSUKA, Japan – The Ticonderoga class guided-missile cruiser USS Chancellorsville (CG 62) conducted a fire drill to test the ability of the crew, Fleet Activities (FLEACT) Yokosuka, Commander U.S. Naval Forces Japan (CNFJ) Fire and Emergency Services Department, Ship Repair Facility and Japan Regional Maintenance Center (SRF-JRMC), and American Red Cross Disaster Relief personnel to integrate for a possible real-world situation, Jan. 18.

“Performing mainspace training drills underway is one thing, but this drill forced me to look at how we will operate while in dry dock from a different perspective,” said Chancellorsville’s Flying Squad Team Leader, Damage Controlman 3rd Class, Hannah Goodin from Anderson, Texas.

170118-N-OX023-001-004 YOKOSUKA, Japan (Jan. 18, 2017) – Emergency responders from USS Chancellorsville (CG 62), Fleet Activities (FLEACT) Yokosuka, Commander U.S. Naval Forces Japan (CNFJ) Fire and Emergency Services Department, Ship Repair Facility and Japan Regional Maintenance Center (SRF-JRMC), and American Red Cross Disaster Relief participate in an integrated Damage Control assessment drill aboard USS Chancellorsville. These drills demonstrate the readiness to respond in the event of a fire while in drydock. (U.S. Navy photo by Operations Specialist 2nd Class Samuel Lopez/Released)

170118-N-OX023-001-004 YOKOSUKA, Japan (Jan. 18, 2017) – Emergency responders from USS Chancellorsville (CG 62), Fleet Activities (FLEACT) Yokosuka, Commander U.S. Naval Forces Japan (CNFJ) Fire and Emergency Services Department, Ship Repair Facility and Japan Regional Maintenance Center (SRF-JRMC), and American Red Cross Disaster Relief participate in an integrated Damage Control assessment drill aboard USS Chancellorsville. These drills demonstrate the readiness to respond in the event of a fire while in drydock. (U.S. Navy photo by Operations Specialist 2nd Class Samuel Lopez/Released)

The requirement for this coordinated fire drill was the result of an incident aboard the USS Miami (SSN 755) , a Los Angeles-class submarine.

USS Miami caught fire as it was undergoing an extensive overhaul during a 20-month maintenance cycle, May 23, 2012, . After the incident, the U.S. Navy mandated integrated Damage Control assessment drills be conducted within 30 days of any Navy vessel entering a dry dock period. Damage Control assessment drills must also occur every six months thereafter to ensure that the crew and supporting base forces are trained to prevent a recurrence of the ill-fated submarine.

During maintenance availabilities, ships do not have the same capabilities to combat a fire as they would have at sea. For this reason, it is crucial that ships have backup plans and support to combat fires while in the shipyards.

“The crew did an outstanding job with this exercise and were great to work with,” said CNFJ Fire and Emergency Services Department’s drill instructor, Chief Michael V. White, one of the drill assessors.

Chief White, who has been conducting and assessing the FLEACT Yokosuka drills for more than a year, said that he enjoyed seeing the areas of improvement that his team learned from Chancellorsville Sailors and looks forward to continuing work with them in the following months.

“The crew did an outstanding job of applying their training, which involved a lot of moving parts,” said Chancellorsville’s Damage Control Team leader, Damage Controlman Senior Chief Christopher Langteau.

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