ATLANTIC OCEAN (NNS) — “This is a drill, this is a drill. Fire, fire, fire, class alpha fire in compartment 02-69-01. Away the in-port emergency team, provide from Repair Locker 1F.”
Sailors assigned to the in-port emergency team (IET) on board the aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) (Ike) jump to their feet and quickly assemble at the repair locker to don their firefighting gear and grab the equipment they need to combat the simulated fire.
IET fights fires, clears chemical spills, patches burst pipes, and dewaters spaces.
“They are the first line of defense when everyone goes home for the day,” said Fireman Jeanette Rochefort, an IET member.
“The importance of having IET is for the safety of the ship and to respond to any damage that can occur while in port,” said Damage Controlman 2nd Class Jen Cole, a duty fire marshall. “Nine times out 10, damages happen to the ship while we are in port and everyone is diligent in responding to issues when they occur.”
Every duty section on the ship has an IET who are ready to respond at a moment’s notice. The teams are responsible for upholding the integrity of the ship and ensuring all emergencies affecting the ship are dealt with safely and swiftly.
“If something happens to the ship, IET is responsible for how the damage is controlled,’ said Rochefort. “Every Sailor has to be basic damage control qualified to be a member of IET. Sailors need to know how to use the kits, firefighting, fire-hose handling, investigating damages safely, and much more.”
This group of motivated Sailors train every duty day with a variety of drills, as constant practice is needed to keep their damage control skills sharp.
“IET trains constantly on various scenarios that include flooding, toxic gas, fires, hazardous spills, anything that can do damage to the ship,” said Cole. “It is a lot to remember, but knowing that the ship and my shipmates are depending on me to keep them safe motivates me to give my all every day.”
Issues can arise at any time of the day and the IET are prepared at all times.
“IET allows the rest of the crew to go home and sleep soundly knowing that if anything happens to the ship, IET can handle it and the ship will not sink with them on board,” said Ship Fire Marshall Chief Warrant Officer Richard Armstrong.
Being apart of IET is important not only for the duty section, but for the entire crew. Sailors on IET allow everyone to leave the ship for the day knowing that the ship will being taken care of and will be protected no matter what.
“Damage to the ship can happen at anytime,” said Cole. “That’s why IET is always ready to respond to make sure the ship and the crew are always kept safe.”
Ike is currently underway conducting engineering drills as part of the sustainment phase of the Optimized Fleet Response Plan (OFRP).
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For more news from USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69), visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn69/.