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‘FOD’ prevention walk on carrier flight deck becomes prayer walk for chaplains

ABOARD USS HARRY S. TRUMAN, EAST MEDITERANNEAN (BP)–They walk step by step, a hundred men and women, shoulder to shoulder, stretching the width and walking the length of the flight deck, just as the sun rises over the horizon of a pale blue sky.

These sailors aboard the USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) may look like they’re marching in slow motion, their heads down, their voices silent, but they’re actually looking for debris that could cause FOD — foreign object damage — if sucked into a jet engine, or accelerated by jet exhaust or helicopter rotor wash.

The FOD prevention walk is a common drill, conducted before each launch and recovery cycle, maybe a number of times during the day depending on the schedule of flight operations.

The ship’s chaplains take part as duties allow, also using the time as they cross the 1,096 feet of flight deck to silently lift up prayers to God for the ship’s safety, for the sailors below, and for the war at-large to be over quickly, with as little loss of life possible.

Chaplain Doyle Dunn, a Southern Baptist from Virginia, prayer walks as often as his schedule allows. He trusts the power of prayer to change the lives of the men and women aboard. Frequently, others join him including lay leaders of Bible studies and church services. These Christians have been prayer walking ever since Dunn joined the ship as command chaplain two months ago.

“There are so many documented examples of God bringing revival to the military during war and peace times,” Dunn said. “The prayer walking came about as a result of discussion among the lay leaders and my staff about what it would be like if God could transform this ship. There’s no better way to ask for that than through prayer.”
(BP) photo posted in the BP Photo Library at http://www.bpnews.net. Photo title: POWER WALKING.

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  • Sara Horn