ARABIAN SEA --
Approximately 30 Marines with the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit learned emergency ship repair and fire-fighting skills aboard the amphibious transport dock ship USS New Orleans (LPD 18) Jan. 5 during a fire-fighting exercise.
Chief Petty Officer Jody Schilling, the damage control chief for the ship, said the Marines were trained to augment the Navy’s capabilities in case of emergencies.
The Marines’ strength and quick decision making can be applied to damage control, he explained.
“We have twice as many Marines on board as we do Navy,” said Schilling. “We want to combine their skill set with ours and make a more effective team.”
Instructors taught fire-hose handling, donning fire-fighting gear, pipe patching and dewatering, a process that uses hoses and water pressure to create a vacuum and pump out water.
Schilling said his goal is to train a new group of Marines on basic damage control every month.
Machine-gunner Lance Cpl. Justin Mischloney said it’s important for the Marines to know these skills.
“Marines are everywhere on the ship,” said the 23-year-old Alpena, Mich., native. “No matter where something happens, there is going to be a Marine there to give a hand to the Navy.”
Mischloney serves with Company L, which is one of three rifle companies with Battalion Landing Team 3/1, the ground combat element for the unit.
The 11th MEU is currently deployed aboard USS Makin Island, USS New Orleans and USS Pearl Harbor as part of the Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group (MKIARG) as the U.S. Central Command theater reserve force, also providing support for maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility.