USS Somerset Engages in Disaster Preparedness Training

Approximately 40 Marines and Sailors aboard the USS Somerset (LPD 25) interacted with members of Bay Area urban search and rescue teams on Treasure Island as a part of the disaster preparedness, disaster response training series featured throughout San Francisco Fleet Week.

The hands-on urban search and rescue training afforded the DoD’s maritime service branches the opportunity to learn and practice techniques used in real-world urban search and rescue missions.

The training event featured three separate stations. At the first station instructors taught breaking and breaching, a procedure whereby emergency responders use special tools to make special cuts into cement to create entry holes that permit emergency personnel and supplies to pass through them.

At the second station service Marines and Sailors were taught shoring techniques. Shoring is used when the structural integrity of a building has been damaged; it allows for temporary fortification of the structure to allow a rescue team to safely make entry into a building for further assessment and/or to rescue victims.

Finally at the third station, service members learned cribbing techniques, which is a method that forces responders to use readily available tools at their immediate disposal at the scene of a structural collapse to remove heavy material like heavy slabs of cement — a technique that requires ample team work, resourcefulness and often times out-of-the-box thinking.

San Francisco Fleet Week now in its 35th annual year is a week-long event that blends a unique training and education program, bringing together key civilian emergency responders and Naval crisis-response forces to exchange best practices focused on humanitarian assistance and disaster relief with a particular emphasis on defense support to civil authorities.

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Image: US Navy