Bulkeley Sailors Participate in Disaster Exercise

Bulkeley Sailors participated in a disaster training exercise (DISTEX) on July 1 simulating first response efforts after a natural disaster. The event took place in a training site at the Portuguese School of Naval Technologies. Sailors worked hard to repair the water distribution system and electric system, fight fires, control a toxic gas leak, stabilize structurally damaged buildings, conduct urban search and rescue, treat and aid injured survivors, maintain security boundaries and properly respond to the media. This is the first time a U.S. Navy ship has participated in this training.

The purpose of this DISTEX was to test the abilities of a ship and its crew. The scenario enacted an earthquake that rocked a fictional country, and Bulkeley was the first humanitarian disaster relief team on scene. The first obstacles faced were small fires, a river in which they had to build a bridge to cross, injured locals on the top of a steep hill and wrecked cars. They were then able to go into a village to inspect, help and support the local community, where there were more wrecked vehicles, injured locals, large oil and fuel fires, survivors stuck in unstable buildings and large leaks in potable water systems.

According to members of the Portuguese Navy, Bulkeley Sailors showed a great amount of eagerness, endurance and whole-hearted throughout the event.

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