20 March 2006

Fun and Hi-Jinks while Haze Gray Chapter 2

Previously
on this Haze Grey Channel at this Haze Grey time, Southern found himself on USS Oldship and underway for the first time....


Anyhow, the GQ things continues every other day for the first week out to sea. On underway+8 they decide to do an abandon-ship drill. The ships bosun had pulled off a couple of the 25-man life rafts that sit off the side of the ship in neat little grey pills. He pulled them since they were due to be replaced for being too old and placed them in the middle of the hangar bay. My shop LPO who was part of the training team for our locker grabbed me a couple hours before the GQ event went down and said "When I grab you, follow me". I am just a dumb young airman, so I nod my head. I really wasn't paying attention since I was watching yet again Titanic for the billionth time and wondering if Rose would slip under the water with Jack this time. During the events the damage came fast and furious, they killed off most of my hose team and the replacement team from an explosion in the forward paint locker, engineering lost a couple of her teams when a couple high pressure steam lines let go due to torpedo hits. Long story short the XO came across the 1MC , since supposedly the CO was killed when a missile struck the island and blew up the bridge, to announce manning of abandonship stations. My LPO in his DCTT cover grabbed me, I followed back to the shop and found Ms. Reservist passed out during the middle of the mandatory TV DC training, the rest of the shop and other two reservists assigned to us were paying rapt attention to the training being presented by standard Navy video.

I was still dressed in all my gear and sounding like Darth Vader. He told me what to do, while making the rest of the shop muster in HB one:
" Go up to AT2 Winelots and tap her on the shoulder and shout, We have struck and Iceberg and are sinking."
"Why?"
"Just do it."
"Okay, AT1!"
"AT2, AT2, WAKE UP, WAKE UP; WE HAVE STRUCK AN ICEBERG AND ARE SINKING"
"THIS IS THE TAO, ABANDON SHIP, ABANDON SHIP, NEAREST LAND IS 25NM DUE WEST, NEAREST FRIENDLY LAND IS 50NM DUE NORTHWEST, NEAREST HOSTILE LAND IS 25NM DUE SOUTH, WATER TEMPATURE IS 67DEGREES, CURRENT IS AT 5KTS NORTHEAST. NOW SET THE SALVAGE AND DESTRUCTION CREW. I REPEAT NOW SET THE SALVAGE AND DESTRUCTION CREW."
"HUH?!?!? ICEBERG! OH SH!"
"AT2 follow me everyone is mustering in the hangar bay, here take this rubber ducky and put it on."

Upon which the Tactical Action Officer (TAO) came back across and repeated his statement across the 1MC as we left the shop. Remember folks, we are off the coast of Virginia near the end of June. If there is an iceberg that far south there are more serious problems with the world then a ship sinking just a few miles offshore.
So we trudged past all sorts of people pretending to be dead bodies and all sorts of damage control gear is laying about. About the time she is starting to think something is up we get out in bay one and we hear a pop followed by a rush of compressed air filling a raft and see one inflate while being surrounded by a bunch of still living people. At which point she freaks, runs to the hole for elevator one and proceeds start taking off her shoes and wondering if she should pull the cord and fire off the rubber ducky (which was the nickname of the personal floatation device we had that was on a little belt and stored in it own fanny pack) or jump in and pull the cord. She then shouted "What the hell are the rest of you waiting for, do you want to swim out!"
Everyone from the shop is trying their best not to laugh too loudly and everyone else from her unit and the regulars were looking at her like she had snapped. Our LPO stood up, walked over and whispered something in her ear. She then made a loud comment on her belief of relationships between ourselves and our mothers. She walked back over and the BM1 near the raft finished up his explanation of abandoning ships and what is in a raft and how to get in. What was even better was how he didnt' even miss a beat since he mentioned her and commented on how well she would of done had this been an acutal event. That just cause more steam out of her ears and more red on her face.

Our shop CPO and Div O grabbed us, pulled us over after the GQ drill secured. They then asked us about what had happened, my LPO stood up and said explained some of what had been going on and it was a way to lighten the mood in the shop. They both thought it was funny themselves (including our chief who was a woman and a tough smart one at that), however we would have to pay the piper and had to give training to the division the night before we pulled in on Harassment and Consideration of Others.
The end effect was a good laugh, less tension, and less complaints from some people.

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