Earth Day: Sorting Trash Saves The Environment

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Sterile, blue latex gloves snap against the hands of Sailors preparing to start their day in a place you may not often think about. These crewmembers work in a place you rely on, on station around the clock even after Earth Day passes.

     U.S. Navy commands all over the world celebrated Earth Day, April 22. Although USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) is forward-deployed to the 5th Fleet area of operations, the ship still did her part by continuing to separate trash to help keep the environment around her clean.

     In one of several waste rooms aboard TR, a mighty few of the aircraft carrier’s Sailors sort through the day’s accumulation of trash.

     Theodore Roosevelt’s waste management team does more than meets the eye. The team’s charge isn’t just about getting garbage out of each space, but more focused on challenging the entire crew to make sure everything is sorted properly and to keep the environment clean.

     “Our job is already hard enough. Our guys are there to run the equipment and process it,” said Machinist’s Mate 2nd Class John Detamore. “It’s not [our people’s] job to sort the trash. That’s why we put it out to everyone to sort their trash.”

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TR’s waste management team is composed of nine machinist’s mates who are a part of Engineering department’s A-Division. The team has several temporary assigned duty personnel who help aid the process of getting trash off the ship.

     “There’s a lot that goes into the procedures of how we handle trash, like when we can light off the incinerator and when we can’t,” said Machinist’s Mate 3rd Class Julia Gardner. “We have to be a certain distance from land to dump certain types of waste.”

     The ship needs to be at least three nautical miles to discharge food waste from the pulpers and at least 25 miles to discharge metal through the trash shoots and into the ocean, said Gardner.

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  “If you don’t sort it properly, and it doesn’t get caught, not only will it ruin our equipment, but it also can compromise what the [Environmental Protection Agency] EPA has set in place for us,” Gardner added.

     Sorting trash not only eases the workload for the waste management team, but is critical for the environment in addition to maintaining the equipment.

     “If we have a bag of metal and there was plastic in it and that plastic somehow gets out, [marine life] could swallow it,” said Detamore. “Not only is it bad for the environment, but our ship could face a huge fine.”

     The plastic is melted down and processed into oversized plastic “pucks”. Of all the refuse that is taken to the waste rooms, plastic is the only thing that is not allowed to be dumped overboard.

     “Plastic pucks get offloaded during our underway replenishments,” said Detamore. “We are offloading anywhere between 15 to 30 tri-walls full of pucks. They get taken over to the other ship during the UNREP [underway replenishment], and they take it back to shore and can process and take it to a recycling plant.”

     “We don’t ask for much,” said Gardner. “We really need people to sort their trash thoroughly and make sure they separate everything. We can, and we do, turn people away. Making sure the trash is sorted is so much more important than some people realize.”

Join the conversation with TR online at http://www.facebook.com/USSTheodoreRoosevelt and http://www.Twitter.com/TheRealCVN71. For more news from USS Theodore Roosevelt, visit http://www.navy.mil/local/cvn71/.

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Hose Team, Move In

NORFOLK (July 28, 2014) – “General quarters, general quarters! All hands man your battle stations.”

     The aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) has ten repair lockers spread throughout the ship, each responsible for damage control efforts in specific zones of the ship. The core of each locker consists of two hose teams comprised of an on-scene leader, two team leaders, a nozzleman, plugman and hosemen.

     “From the time the alarm sounds, the hose team gets to the repair locker as fast as possible to get in the firefighting ensemble (FFE). Once we are all suited up, as the team lead I will make sure everybody is in line, manned and ready,” said Yeomen 2nd Class Ronnie Jones, repair locker one bravo hose team leader.

     All Sailors must be ready to provide immediate response to a fire, but they don’t have the same level of protection or resources a hose team.    

     “Sailors can only do so much in just flash gear. It won’t be safe for them to be there during a fire, but we have the full suit on and we will be able to take the measures that are needed to not only fight a fire but to win over a fire,” said Jones.

     Fires can spread quickly and do severe damage to a ship if not dealt with in a timely manner.

     “A fire is the worst type of casualty you can have because a fire spreads quicker than flooding or toxic gas,” said Damage Controlman 1st Class Daniel Hernandez, repair locker one bravo deck leader. “It is very important that the hose team goes out and actually combats that casualty, because if not you will have a small fire that will completely 180 and before you know it there will be a fire from the 8th deck to the 03 level.”

     Prior to being assigned to a hose team Sailors must attend a basic shipboard firefighting course. The course teaches Sailors how to dress out in FFE, combat class alpha, bravo and charlie fires and how to send messages throughout the ship during a casualty.

     TR can never know exactly what casualty it may have to fight, but I have faith in my shipmates to work together as a team and combat a casualty successfully, said Hernandez.

By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Apprentice Alex Millar, USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) Public Affairs

Join the conversation with TR online at http://www.facebook.com/USSTheodoreRoosevelt and http://www.Twitter.com/TheRealCVN71. For more news from USS Theodore Roosevelt, visit http://www.navy.mil/local/cvn71/.

USS Theodore Roosevelt Conducts Mass Casualty Drill

USS THEODORE ROOSEVELT, at sea (May 20, 2014) - Sailors from Air Department and Medical Department participate in a mass casualty drill on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Heath Zeigler/Released)
USS THEODORE ROOSEVELT, at sea (May 20, 2014) – Sailors from Air Department and Medical Department participate in a mass casualty drill on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Heath Zeigler/Released)

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Heath Zeigler, USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) Public Affairs

Sirens and alarms blared on the flight deck public announcement system. Sailors strewn about the flight deck simulated injuries and unconsciousness. The drill depicted a grim scene, but Sailors aboard the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt’s (CVN 71) rushed in to fight the fake fires and treat mock casualties.

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