USS George Washington Tests Countermeasure Wash-Down Systems

The Engineering, Weapons and Air departments aboard Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) conducted testing of critical firefighting systems, May 11-12.

Crew members performed tests on the ship’s fire suppression systems, also known as the countermeasure wash-down systems, which are essential to damage control efforts aboard the ship.

The countermeasure wash-down system, maintained by George Washington’s Damage Control division, utilizes seawater and aqueous film forming foam (AFFF) to combat fires by smothering a flame’s oxygen supply. AFFF also protects crew members by drenching the ship’s exterior before potential contaminants have a chance to enter the ship.

During this test, a concentration of 6 percent AFFF and 94 percent water is sprayed throughout the ship’s hangar bays and outer skin. Once the solution covers the ship, decks are sprayed with seawater.

Damage Controlman 1st Class Walter Dailey, from Norfolk, Virginia, said:

Testing is performed throughout the hangar bay, flight deck, island and fantail.

In preparation for the countermeasure wash-down, the AFFF system requires more than 200 preventative maintenance checks. Although the system is constantly being maintained, the countermeasure wash-down test is the only time every system is simultaneously operated. The hangar bay wash-down used approximately 2,000 gallons of AFFF.

George Washington is currently underway conducting sea trials to evaluate and assess the ship’s equipment status and personnel readiness for follow-on at-sea training and provides a combat-ready force that protects and defends the collective maritime interests of the U.S. and its allies and partners in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.

Image: US Navy

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