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    CS-9: Crucial to Communications



    Story by Petty Officer 3rd Class Elizabeth Thompson 

    USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78)

    CS-9: Crucial to Communications
    Story by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Liz Thompson

    Bells are rung, the word is passed, the 1MC announcement ends. As every other Sailor onboard USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78), you are now properly made aware as what is to come or what is going on onboard. Nearly all forms of announcements you hear on ship – from the 1MC to handheld HYDRAs (hierarchical yet dynamically reprogrammable architecture) to the television in your shop – are all maintained by the few Sailors who belong to Combat System’s CS-9 division.

    “We in CS-9 maintain communication equipment that allows for a variety of needs and wants that the everyday Sailor requires,” said Chief Interior Communications Electrician Omar Drammeh, CS-9’s leading chief petty officer.

    The most recognizable announcing system is the ship’s 1MC, one main circuit.

    “Where would we be without the 1MC?” asked Drammeh. “The system is used for dispersing information to the crew by sounding alarms and passing word throughout the ship. We provide the means for the mass distribution of information for training purposes while also having the ability to raise morale.”

    The job of CS-9 consists of many different facets and many different communication systems.

    “People usually think of just the 1MC when it comes to communication systems,” said Interior Communications Electrician Seaman Frank Mejias. “Some people may not realize there are multiple MC systems and that is not even the half of our job.”

    MC systems service different areas of the ship. The 1MC is the general ship announcing system, while the 2MC is dedicated to engineering, the 3MC dedicated to the hangar bay, 5MC dedicated to the flight deck, and 6MC is dedicated for communications from ship-to-ship.

    “We also do maintenance and are responsible for HYDRAs, sound-powered telephones and their networks, all the ship’s 3IVs, public announcing system, and more,” said Mejias.

    The portability and easy-to-use interface of HYDRAs make them a go-to form of communication.

    “Everyone with a HYDRA radio can understand the importance of our CS-9 technicians,” said Drammeh. “Our HYDRA equipment is essential to the ship’s readiness of information and casualty response time.”

    CS-9 also plays a part in operating the internet services onboard.

    “The equipment we operate facilitates internet services underway [for both personal] and work-related activities,” said Drammeh. “Furthermore, our Line of Sight gear and associated patching units are maintained constantly to ensure clear communications for flight operations, unreps and other numerous evolutions.”

    In the event that all other forms of communication fail, the ship will use sound-powered telephones – which CS-9 also maintains.

    “The sound-powered telephones allow lookouts, as well as repair lockers, to communicate effectively with one another,” said Drammeh.

    In a shipboard casualty, the timely ability to effectively communicate is crucial.

    “We have the capabilities of being able to save the ship when you think about it,” said Interior Communications Electrician 3rd Class Vanessa Steed. “If we do our job and make sure all forms of communication are intact then we reduce the time it takes to report and respond to any and all casualties.”

    With the essentials of work-related communications covered, CS-9 also provides Ford Sailors with a form of entertainment.

    “We operate all TVs onboard,” said Mejias. “Not only are our TVs used for official purposes, what we do with the TV network allows for Sailors to watch movies, shows, and even real-time sports games.”

    As any division on board, CS-9 proves that they are vital to our mission.

    “Without us, there are no communications on ship besides messages blanks and word of mouth,” said Mejias. “Without CS-9 we wouldn’t get underway. The ship has a definite need for communications on ship whenever we go out.”

    In all forms of communication and in all spaces, CS-9 should be noticed for what they do.

    “We have equipment in every part of the ship and in every space,” said Steed. “I think it is amazing to see all parts of the ship that not many could normally see. It is really cool to have the freedom to move anywhere on ship.”

    The weight of importance on their job is apparent to those in CS-9 and should be recognized around ship as well.

    “I feel empowered and honored to be trusted with such an important job,” said Steed. “From regular announcements to something as important as a MEDEVAC, I am there to make sure that the word gets passed and do the checks to make sure all systems will operate when they are needed.”

    When in need to alert the crew of a casualty or in the event of another motion picture movie premiere, remember the importance and significance of the small division of CS-9.



    Date Taken: 05.14.2018
    Date Posted: 12.19.2018 15:13
    Story ID: 304419
    Location: NORFOLK, VA, US 

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