By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class James Lyon

SOUTH CHINA SEA – Sailors assigned to USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) participated in a damage control (DC) Rodeo, March 1.
The DC Rodeo provided practical training for all repair locker positions in damage control, safety and first aid.
“We don’t get to train with charged hoses everyday,” said Damage Controlman 3rd Class Kent Hughes, from Indianapolis. “We have new Sailors that [haven’t touched] charged systems since basic training. Building confidence with our gear, knowing how it works and understanding our capabilities goes a long way when it comes to fighting a shipboard casualty.”
Every repair locker member has a part to play when combating casualties. From hose handling to rigging casualty power, the event split Sailors into seven functional areas based on their position in Stennis’ repair lockers.
“The training was more in-depth and related to our position,” said Legalman 2nd Class Sesleigh Saucier, from Murrieta, Calif. “It focused on putting our knowledge into action.”

The damage control training team led Sailors through trainings designed to improve their DC skills in the event of an actual casualty.
“We train how we fight,” said Chief Navy Counselor Preston Rodgers, from Odessa, Texas. “Events like the DC rodeo reinforce our Sailors training, preparing them to handle a wide range of casualties safely and effectively.”

At the end of the day, Stennis’ Sailors walked away with new insights and skills in damage control, better prepared for whatever deployment may have in store.

With the knowledge gained from the DC Rodeo, the damage control training team plans to host a DC Olympics competition.
Providing a ready force supporting security and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific, Stennis is operating as part of the Great Green Fleet on a regularly scheduled 7th Fleet deployment.
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