On Wednesday, 86 Sea Cadets, ages 13 to 17 and representing four states (Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Colorado) will take part in a unique specialized training exercise at Clatsop Community College’s Fire Response and Research Center on the MERTS (Marine and Environmental Research and Training Station) campus in Astoria.

This specially-designed, 8,000 square-foot building contains multiple levels and passageways to provide a diverse range of firefighting training scenarios in enclosed spaces. Computer-controlled live-burn props fueled by natural gas provide trainees with hands-on experience in fighting the types of fires commonly encountered on vessels.

The half-day exercise, including live-burn experiences as well as hose-handling skills, will be part of a summer training program at Camp Rilea organized by the Iron Side Division of the U.S. Naval Sea Cadet Corps.

“We have incorporated some new training exercises this year and look forward to seeing what the Cadets will take away from their time with us,” said Kristen Wilkin, dean of Workforce Education and Training.

The U.S. Naval Sea Cadet Corps was established in 1958. Its purpose is “to encourage and aid American youth to develop, train them in seagoing skills, and to teach patriotism, courage, self-reliance and kindred virtues.” Units are established across the country, and participants meet regularly throughout the year to learn basic seamanship, military drill and leadership. Oregon-based units are found in Bend, Lafayette, North Bend, Portland, Roseburg, Salem, Springfield and White City. For more information, visit www.seacadets.org

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