Damage Controlman 1st Class Charles Register assigned to the amphibious assault ship USS Bataan (LHD 5) assists sailors in a simulated fire drill October 6, 2020. Bataan is home ported at Naval Station Norfolk.


The wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Bataan (LHD 5) conducted a rescue and assistance drill with the San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship USS Mesa Verde (LPD 19) October 6th, 2020.

The drill took place onboard Bataan and teams from both ships banded together to combat a simulated fire in Bataan’s smoke filled, upper vehicle stowage area.

To maximize the effectiveness of the training, the Bataan and the Mesa Verde Damage Control Teams utilized every resource available to ensure the training was as realistic as possible.

“Damage Control evolutions like the one we conducted today are important because it shows how very real a situation can become,” said Chief Damage Controlman Benjamin Vangen, Bataan’s damage control training team coordinator. “Wearing a firefighting ensemble for an extended amount of time and handling a fully charged fire hose becomes exhausting. Putting that into perspective today and showing Sailors how important it is to maintain a constant state of readiness is vital to the continued success of our in-port emergency teams and the ship’s ability to combat casualties onboard.”

Mesa Verde’s participation in the drill allowed Bataan to gain an understanding of the ship’s emergency response actions and practice integrated firefighting operations.

“When it comes to saving the ship we rely on each other to become a cohesive unit,” said Vangen. “Rescue and assistance from the USS Mesa Verde is beneficial because the personnel are already trained in the art of Damage Control. There is no explanation of what needs to be done because it is our very own brothers and sisters coming to aid us.”

Bataan regularly preforms drills to maintain preparedness for any causality weather in-port or while deployed.

Bataan is currently homeported at Naval Station Norfolk.

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