NRHS alum does damage control

Published 9:23 pm Saturday, May 31, 2014

By Taylor A. Elberg

Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Apprentice

Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Adam K. Foster, a 2008 Nansemond River High School graduate, is serving on one of the world’s most advanced warships, the U.S. Navy guided-missile destroyer USS Cole (DDG 67).

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Foster is a damage controlman who ensures that when a fire breaks out on the ship, his people and equipment are ready and able to save the ship.

Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Adam K. Foster, a 2008 Nansemond River High School graduate, serves on board the USS Cole.

Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Adam K. Foster, a 2008 Nansemond River High School graduate, serves on board the USS Cole.

“I am responsible for making sure that all of my maintenance people keep all the damage control equipment up and running,” said Foster.

Foster said he is proud of the work he is doing as part of the Cole’s 270 plus-member crew, protecting America on the world’s oceans.

The men and women that make up the ship’s company keep all parts of the destroyer running smoothly, including everything from washing dishes and preparing meals to handling weaponry and maintaining the gas turbine systems.

Cole is an Arleigh Burke class guided-missile destroyer and one of 62 destroyers in the Navy today.

“My favorite part about being on the ship is I like being underway; I am one of those true blue Navy sailors,” said Foster. “In my job my favorite part is teaching people. I like to train junior sailors in anything that comes up. I am a mentor.”

Cole is a multi-mission medium surface ship capable of sustained performance in anti-air, anti-submarine, anti-ship, and offensive strike operation. When deployed with a carrier strike group or expeditionary strike group, Cole, along with other AEGIS-capable cruisers and destroyers in the strike group, is primarily tasked with defending the fleet while providing secondary strike capabilities.

The wide range of missions that Cole is capable of performing, and the ability of the ship to operate freely in international waters anywhere on the world’s oceans, often makes them the first response to a global crisis.

Foster knows that being onboard one of the U.S. Navy’s most relied upon assets, he and the rest of the crew could be called upon to defend America at any moment.

On Oct. 12, 2000, al-Qaida attacked the Cole in a suicide mission while the ship was refueling in Aden, Yemen.

The ship has many reminders onboard of that attack, including a hallway that has 17 permanent stars embedded in the floor.

“Cole is really cool for being a damage controlman, because being with the history of Cole and the bombings. It really puts an emphasis on our job and we are really in the spotlight for making sure everything is good to go,” said Foster. “We are looked at experts for the fleet because we have been there and have actually had to deal with these damage control problems.”

The attack ripped a 40 by 60 foot hole in the port side of the ship near the crew’s dining and mess facility. Seventeen sailors lost their lives, and another 37 sailors were injured during the attack.

Named in honor of Marine Sergeant Darrell S. Cole, a machine-gunner killed in action during World War II, the ship is nearly 500 feet long. It is 66 feet wide and weighs more than 8,000 tons. Four General Electric LM2500-30 gas turbines, along with two shafts generating up to 100,000 horsepower, can push the ship through the water at more than 30 nautical miles per hour.

The Cole is scheduled to deploy later this year.