Coast Guard Conducts Drills for Bangladesh Navy

ALAMEDA, Calif. -- Coast Guard members conduct a firefighting drill for the Bangladesh navy aboard a Bangladesh ship moored at Coast Guard Island in Alameda, Calif., Wednesday, June 19, 2013.

The firefighting drill is a test to determine the Bangladeshi crew’s ability to get their ship underway safely.

For several months, Coast Guard members from the former Coast Guard Cutter Jarvis -- which was transferred to the nation of Bangladesh during a ceremony on May 23, 2013 -- helped the Bangladeshi sailors understand the logistics and operations of their new ship, the BNS Somudra Joy.

“Everything that we have been doing led up to this fire drill,’’ said Cmdr. Joseph LeCato, former executive officer of the Jarvis.  “It’s a 42-year-old ship; things are going to break and things are going to happen on their way back to Bangladesh. It is important they know this drill because of the different circumstances that could occur during a fire aboard the ship.”

The fire drill has three main safety steps: Turning on the engines to ensure the proper protocols are met, demonstrating firefighting techniques and medical evacuation procedures and showing the team’s ability to evacuate injured personnel who might be overcome by smoke.

Lt. Vincent Escobedo, former engineering officer assigned to the Jarvis, said the drill is a big deal. “To perform to the level that they did, exceeding the passing score, I think it says a lot about their training and level of dedication.”

At the end of the drill, the Coast Guard members and Bangladeshi sailors gathered together in the officer’s room, where the Bangladesh sailors gave three “hip hip hoorays” thanking the Coast Guard for supporting them and helping them pass the drill with success.

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