In an earlier post, I discussed the maintenance of damage control equipment on a divisional level. In this post, I will discuss the major location of damage control equipment, the Repair Locker. For the purposes of this discussion, I will consider a medium-sized warship, such as a destroyer, frigate or guided-missile cruiser.
Repair lockers contain the heavy damage control equipment and supplies. That is where you find dewatering equipment, shoring tools, portable cutting torches, oxygen level testers, axes, portable communications gear, hammers, just about everything needed for emergencies. The equipment in the repair lockers is maintained by R division. There are three repair lockers on the ship: Repair 2, Repair 5 and Repair 3. Repair 2 covers the forward part of the ship, Repair 5 covers the engineering spaces and Repair 3 covers the after part of the ship. If assistance has to be given to another ship (typically, in port), the Rescue and Assistance Detail operates out of Repair 3.
Each duty section in port has to have enough people in it to fully man both a repair team and a full security detail. At sea, emergencies that are severe enough to require handling from a repair locker are cause to go to battle stations. A report of a fire will trigger setting General Quarters (battle stations).
Repair lockers are manned from divisions shipwide. The Repair Locker Leaders, both in port and at sea, are generally from R Division. The first aid teams at the Repair Lockers are not the ship's corpsmen; the first aid teams stabilize injured personell and transport them to Sick Bay. (This, by the way, is a significant difference between civilian first aid and military first aid: Military first aid involves getting the injured out of the way, civilian first aid involves stabilizing the injured people in place until the paramedics come.) Repair 5 is staffed with engineers, as they will have to verify that the equipment in the space is shut down and, if necessary, do that task.
(A compartment, in Navy speak, is also referred to as a "space.")
The Repair Locker Leader stays at the Repair Locker to coordinate the casualty attack. The sailor in charge at the scene is the On-Scene Commander. Ideally, everyone in a repair team is cross-trained to be able to handle various jobs. Investigators go to the spaces surrounding the damaged area to check for collateral damage. Nozzlemen and hosemen fight the fires. Overhaulers take care of hot spots once the fire is out. Electricians cut power to the space(s) in question and rig casualty power (more on that another time). IC men run phone wires to set up communications between the On-Scene Commander and the Repair Locker Leader. There are sailors who test for explosive gasses and oxygen levels; until those conditions are safe, everyone in the space has to breathe using oxygen breathing gear.
At sea, the Repair Locker Leader reports to the Damage Control Assistant in DC Central. In port, the Repair Locker Leader reports to the Officer of the Deck.
A Blast From the Past
1 hour ago