CNATTU Whidbey Island’s firefighting training helps boost USS Nimitz, Theodore Roosevelt readiness

26 May 2022

From Jerron K. Barnett

WHIDBEY ISLAND, Wash. – Firefighting instructors at the Center for Naval Aviation Technical Training Unit (CNATTU) Whidbey Island have stepped up to support the firefighting crews on the USS Nimitz (CVN 68) and USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) carriers as Sailors on those vessels prepare for future deployments.
WHIDBEY ISLAND, Wash. – Firefighting instructors at the Center for Naval Aviation Technical Training Unit (CNATTU) Whidbey Island have stepped up to support the firefighting crews on the USS Nimitz (CVN 68) and USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) carriers as Sailors on those vessels prepare for future deployments.

The training opportunity was presented to CNATTU Whidbey’s staff after another firefighting school would not be available during the time the carriers’ training officers needed to ensure the vessels had a sufficient percentage of level-one qualified firefighters prior to deployment.

This conundrum had Lt. Cmdr. George Calbert, a training officer on the Nimitz, searching for answers. He called CNATTU Whidbey Island and explained the situation.  Aircraft firefighting is taught at CNATTU Whidbey Island, which is an authorized substitute for shipboard firefighting. 

Despite some differences in fighting an aircraft fire versus fighting a fire below a carrier’s deck, which in some cases required retraining on some aspects by Nimitz’s most experienced firefighters, according to Calbert, CNATTU Whidbey Island instructors have trained more than 300 Sailors for the Nimitz and Theodore Roosevelt since February.  Another 14 convenes have been scheduled through August.  The Nimitz has a deployment scheduled for the fall.  The Theodore Roosevelt is currently undergoing its docking planned incremental availability.
Calbert thanked CNATTU Whidbey Island’s team for their support.

“I think the personnel at CNATTU {Whidbey} deserve command recognition for their efforts, and direct fleet impact they are providing to the PACNORWEST fleet,” Calbert said.

CNATTU Whidbey Island’s own student firefighting throughput didn’t stop, as more than 470 students were trained on top of the training support given to carriers during the same time frame, according to Cmdr. David Sweet, CNATTU Whidbey Island commanding officer.

“To say I am proud and humbled by our fire school team’s flex to meet this emergent need is an understatement,” Sweet said.  “I couldn’t be more proud to be their CO.”

NOTE: Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Launch and Recovery) 2nd Class Jenny Zilka contributed to this report.














 
 
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