The damage control training team (DCTT) aboard amphibious dock landing ship USS Gunston Hall (LSD 44) conducted joint training in damage control and firefighting techniques with Saudi Arabian sailors May 27 during Exercise Eager Lion 2014.
Gunston Hall, one of three ships that comprise the Bataan Amphibious Ready Group (ARG), is currently exercising with multinational partners during Eager Lion in an effort to increase interoperability in the region.
As part of the exercise, Saudi Arabian sailors visited Gunston Hall to observe and exchange damage control techniques. According to the participants, personnel from both ships benefitted from the event through an exchange of knowledge and experience.
“My guys took so much away from this experience,” said Hull Maintenance Technician 1st Class (SW) Ronnie Paterson, Repair Division leading petty officer, from Asheville, North Carolina. “We have to know how to work well with allies within the theater and around the world and as a result of this training, my crew now has a better set of experiences to draw from for the future.”
During the visit Saudi Arabian sailors observed a variety of drills and techniques aimed at managing damage control aboard ship in crisis situations. From the application of different pipe-patching techniques to fighting flight deck fires in a training scenario, the Saudis were able to see how Gunston Hall is prepared for anything.
“We had our Saudi counterparts training throughout different areas of the ship,” said Patterson. “They received hands-on training with three types of patches and experience what it’s like to man one of our fire hoses. The pride they took in their work was quite impressive.”
DCTT set up stations through out the ship, and provided step-by-step instructions for each station. They also conducted drills for Saudi sailors to observe.
Press Release, June 04, 2014; Image: Wikimedia