By Ensign Michelle Nadeau, USS Ingraham Public Affairs
USS INGRAHAM, At Sea (NNS) — On March 28, only three weeks into its deployment to the U.S. Southern Command and U.S. 4th Fleet area of operations, the USS Ingraham (FFG 61) was already hard at work on its mission of countering illicit trafficking.
But in a quiet period, members of the Naval Station Everett, Wash.-based crew found the time to drill and train on the fundamentals of damage control.
“Damage control on a ship is every Sailor’s job, so even though our mission is counter-illicit trafficking, we must still maintain proficiency on the basics,” said Cmdr. Dan Straub, the ship’s executive officer. “And if we’re doing it right, we can make it fun.”
The drill tested the at-sea fire party’s ability to respond to flooding in a berthing space, where there are no watertight doors to stop the water from spreading.
Members of the fire party worked quickly to stop the water gushing from a ruptured fire main pipe, repair it and drain the space.
After the drill was complete, the damage control training team, led by Straub and Chief Damage Controlman Shaun Thompson, conducted additional training on the fo’c’sle for members of the at-sea fire party and Repair Locker Two.
Using a mock-up of a ruptured pipe, the Sailors took turns applying a soft patch. They cut a wooden wedge to fit into the crack, filled the gaps with oakum, fitted the pipe with a rubber gasket, and wrapped line around the gasket to keep it in place.
To test the effectiveness of the patch, the team energized a fire hose leading into the pipe. Success! The leak from the patch was far more manageable than the original torrent of the ruptured fire main.
U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command and U.S. 4th Fleet employ maritime forces in cooperative maritime security operations in order to maintain access, enhance interoperability, and build enduring partnerships that foster regional security in the U.S. Southern Command area of responsibility.