SOUTH CHINA SEA –
USS George Washington conducted a
chemical, biological and radiological (CBR) drill aboard the ship
while operating in the Western Pacific region, June 29.
The CBR drill was George Washington's first since getting underway
"We need to train and train hard for every possible scenario," said
Capt. David Lausman USS George Washington commanding officer. "We
operate peacefully in international waters, but we still need to
always be prepared for all different forms of attack."
The CBR drill is a simulation to practice mission oriented
protective posture (MOPP) levels which range from one to four. Level
one indicates a threat is possible, while at level four intelligence
suggest an attack using chemical, biological or radiological weapons
is imminent, and the crew is ordered to put on their MOPP gear. The
protective postures are also used in the event a ship passes through
a chemical cloud or is exposed to fallout.
Engineman Fireman Aaron Bates from Newport Beach, Calif., is a new
Sailor aboard George Washington. He said this evolution was a great
reminder of the first time he donned the CBR protective gear.
"[Putting the gear on] brought me back to boot camp," said Bates. "I
forgot how constricting it was after putting it on, but it was a
good exercise and it was good to refresh myself of the basic
fundamentals [of CBR drills]."
The MCU-2/P mask used during the exercise is designed to protect
Sailors against agents meant to harm them in warfare. For the 5,500
Sailors aboard George Washington, the goal is to get the mask on in
just eight seconds. For the newest members of the crew, more senior
Sailors were on hand to coach and motivate them to meet this
"They did quite well; everyone pitched in," said Chief Machinist's
Mate Ralph Galvan from Corpus Christi, Texas. "For the new guys, the
more experienced [Sailors] helped orientate them to the drill. I was
pretty impressed by everyone out here today."
"From fighting simulated fires to mock chemical attack, we train day
and night to make sure when something happens, we respond correctly
and that everyone operates off the same page," said Lausman. "That's
the only way to be successful; train, train, train."
George Washington returned to patrolling the waters of the Western
Pacific ocean June 12, departing her forward operating base of
Commander, Fleet Activities Yokosuka. On board are more than 5,500
Sailors from George Washington and Carrier Air Wing 5. George
Washington's mission is to ensure security and stability in the
Western Pacific and to be in position to work with allies and
regional partners to respond to any crisis across the operational
spectrum as directed.