SCAT Drill

[from the stabenow.com vaults, 2007]

March 30

Prior to refueling the helo, the bridge crew guesses how many gallons it will take to fill ‘er up. I remember this from the Alex Haley, it was and is a subject of competition and raillery and people are very stoked when they win (the winning guess is the one closest to the actual amount without going over). People shout out their guesses and someone furiously scribbles them down on one of the bridge windows (see photo).

all bets on

Me who knows nothing thinks this is just another way to alleviate the boredom of routine and is endemic to this Captain’s command wherever it happens to be, but me who knows nothing is as usual wrong. The Captain says, “It’s actually not just a Munro thing, they were doing it on Mellon though that CO always brought a big jar of candy to the bridge so the winner got to pick his/her prize. The fact that LTJG Adrian Harris hit it on the head twice is something she is understandably proud of. It increases situational awareness of the fuel requirements of the helo and also could be said keeps people focused on what is going on as we typically do it after we are manned and ready, waiting for the helo to arrive.”

our helo

And it’s fun.

This afternoon we did a SCAT (Standard Canned Training Scenario). There is a piped alert of an international incident from command, we go to general quarters and people don helmets and fire retardant gear, we are attacked (in this case three incoming missiles) which results in two fires, one of which results in loss of the port rudder control, flooding in two areas, and multiple casualties. (I keep expecting to hear Scottie’s voice over the pipe, “I’m giving you all she’s got, Captain!”)

The training team meets afterward for a debriefing, whereat the XO says that since it’s been four months since our last SCAT he is reasonably pleased with our performance. (Neither the Captain nor the XO are given to hyperbole.) Afterward I talk to Chief Gene Mason, our corpsman, also known known as Papa Doc (you will remember Baby Doc PO Chris Schultz from the training day post).

CPO Gene Mason

When Gene appeared in his red training team cap in the middle of the drill we knew someone on the bridge was going down, but it’s okay, we saved him. Gene is very pleased with the medical team’s performance. The medical team in this instance includes himself, Baby Doc (who in spite of looking almost twelve is a paramedic in SFO in his spare time and was, in a prior life, a Chicago Police Officer working in the projects until he was assigned as the liaison officer to the local Coast Guard), eight stretcher bearers, and pretty much everyone in the crew, who have all gone through first aid training taught by both docs.

The docs are just another example of the staggering quality of personnel I keep running into in the Coast Guard, first on the Alex Haley and now on the Munro. If you were at all concerned about my well-being out here, you’d relax once you’d heard Gene’s story about getting the fisherman with the broken leg off the crabber in the Bering Sea in eight foot seas. No, not with a helo, with one of the small boats.


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6 thoughts on “SCAT Drill

  1. I keep hinting about a tour of the engine room. I’ve been down there twice but both times it was during a drill, and when you’re pretending the place is on fire it is, strangely, deserted. Also, I have to say that I don’t know how many photos I’ll be allowed to take once I get the tour, I don’t know what the flash on my camera will set off.

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  2. Judi Hernandez says:

    Once again, thank you Dana. I do agree with “mookish”, though. Our son is an engineer and is sweatin’ bullets down there. It would be nice to see the engineering crew, if possible.

    Best wishes, Judi and Manny Hernandez, parents of FN Christopher Hernandez

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