By DC1 Bowden:
“R” Stands for REPAIR
While the “R” may stand for Repair, you will find the Sailors of R-Div doing a lot more than repairs on board this tin can. With that being said, let’s take a tour through R-Division.
Repair division is made up of 3 ratings: Machinery Repairmen (MR), Hull Technicians (HT), and Damage Controlmen (DC). Together these 3 ratings are a force to be reckoned with. There is no part too small, job to big, or fire to hot.
The MRs are, with out a doubt, sticklers for finite numbers. They machine parts that require .00001 accuracy (laymen’s terms: as fine as the hair on a lady bug’s leg). They are given complex problems to solve on a daily basis. I think I even spotted one of them finding the solution to the square peg in the round hole. Let’s just say that if it involves math, metal, and a lathe, problem solved. The MRs’ job doesn’t end there, however. They are also the resident engraving experts. If they are not busy on the lathe or other machining tools, you will surely find them hunkered over the engraver, trying to get the labeling task fine tuned.
The HTs, adhere to tolerance and specifications as well, but are a little more easy going with the math. HTs can be found in various areas throughout the ship doing a number of different jobs. They are the pipe fitters, welders and fabricators that the ship turns to when things start to rattle, shake, and roll. Their ingenuity and problem solving skills give them the ability to get the job done. When these guys aren’t busy brazing gauge lines or welding up a rusted out section of piping, you will find them lending the MRs a hand or ensuring that the waste collection system is operational.
DCs are a unique group of characters. There are no finite numbers, tolerance or specification to follow. DCs maintain the installed firefighting equipment and systems on the ship. They ensure that the actuation systems work, the push buttons operate, and Repair Lockers are stocked and ready for action. They also ensure that Chemical, Biological and Radiological Defense equipment is calibrated and operational. They are the resident experts on fire fighting and keeping the ship afloat.
Together as a division these 3 ratings teach the crew basic fire fighting, gross decontamination of the ship, and dewatering skills during ship indoctrination, as well as providing training for the Damage Control Petty Officers. They stand Sounding and Security, Central Control Station, and Fire Marshal watches. They also augment various other engineering watches such as Engine Room Operator and Auxiliary Systems Monitor. They are the first responders to any casualty, fire, pipe rupture, or flooding. These are the men that make up the At Sea Fire Party and the Flight Deck Fire Party.