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    Fayetteville, N.C., Native serves aboard Rafael Peralta while forward-deployed in the Pacific Ocean

    Damage Controlman 3rd Class Lareesa Garza, from Fayetteville, N.C., inspects a Naval Firefighter Thermal Imager (NFFTI) during routine maintenance

    Photo By Petty Officer 3rd Class Dan Serianni | 210605-N-HG846-1095 SEA OF JAPAN (June 6, 2021) – Damage Controlman 3rd Class...... read more read more

    SEA OF JAPAN – A Fayetteville, N.C., native and 2013 St. Paul’s High School graduate Damage Controlman 3rd Class Lareesa Garza is currently serving onboard the U.S. Navy Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer, USS Rafael Peralta (DDG 115). The USS Rafael Peralta is currently forward-deployed to Commander, Fleet Activities Yokosuka, Japan.

    Damage controlmen perform maintainence and repair of damage control equipment and systems. They conduct emergency repairs to decks, structures and hulls by pipe patching, plugging and shorring. DCs also provide fire fighting and chemical, biological, radiogical, and nuclear explosive (CBRNE) defense aboard U.S. Navy ships.

    “I like being a DC,” said Garza. “It’s an important job because we keep the ship safe in the event of an emergency. I help maintain all the self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) bottles, flood, pipe patching and toxic gas kits.”

    DCs are a part of Engineering department, directly responsible for the maintenance and repair of all associated fire fighting and emergency repair equipment on the ship.

    “There’s a lot of equipment and maintainence all around the ship that needs to be completed,” said Garza. “The work keeps me busy. The people in this department are so knowledgeable and willing to share what they’ve learned along the way, so there’s no shortage of learning opportunities.”

    DCs instruct and coordinate damage control parties during drills and train personnel in operation, maintenance and repair of DC systems. Additionally they facilitate training for life-saving devices and various firefighting methods.

    “Part of my job is to instruct sailors in basic and advanced DC,” said Garza. “These qualifications are required for all hands to complete, because in the event of a fire or other emergency it’s everyone’s responsibility to help save the ship.”

    Rafael Peralta recently forwaed-deployed from San Diego, Ca. to Yokosuka, Japan; to provide regional security and stability for a free and open Indo-Pacific.

    “Changing homeports is tough,” said Garza. “I was just getting settled in San Diego and now I’m so far away from family and friends. It really teaches you how to meet new people and make connections. The support I get emotionally and professionally on the ship helps me to manage the sting of being so far away from family.”

    As a forward-deployed vessel, Rafael Peralta contributes to critical missions in support of regional peace and prosperity. Rafael Peralta conducts operations and exercises to uphold the rights, freedoms, and lawful uses of the sea recognized in international law by challenging excessive maritime claims.

    Rafael Peralta is assigned to Commander, Task Force 71/Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 15, the Navy’s largest forward-deployed DESRON and U.S. 7th Fleet’s principal surface force interacting with 35 other maritime nations to build partnerships that foster maritime security, promote stability, and prevent conflict.




    Date Taken: 06.05.2021
    Date Posted: 06.07.2021 22:21
    Story ID: 398347
    Location: FAYETTEVILLE, NC, US 

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