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SRF-B Teaching Nashville Sailors to Keep Ship Safe

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS080606-06
Release Date: 6/6/2008 12:52:00 PM

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Charles L. Ludwig, USS Nashville Public Affairs

USS NASHVILLE, At Sea (NNS) -- Sailors aboard USS Nashville (LPD 13) completed Security Reaction Force Basic (SRF-B) training during a two-week testing, and qualification period during their deployment, April 26-May 17.

SRF-B is a Navywide security training program, taught to all topside watchstanders in order to standardize watchstanding procedures. To meet this Navy requirement, Nashville's Security Department holds monthly classes.

For Nashville's SRF-B lead instructor Chief Master-at-Arms (SW) Timothy Ashton, the SRF-B course is an absolute necessity for Sailors aboard the amphibious transport dock ship.

"SRF-B provides our Sailors the necessary knowledge and skills to effectively and proficiently perform the duties of an armed sentry and interact as a basic security reaction force team member with the assigned unit's security reaction force," said Ashton.

"It's a Navy requirement, but it's also something that our Sailors need to learn for their own personal responsibilities and safety as a watchstander," he continued.

During the course, taught by Ashton, Senior Chief Mineman (SW) Shawn Bee and Gunner's Mate 2nd Class (SW) Chris LeCroy, students receive certifications in the use of nonlethal weapons, employment of the baton, utilization of oleoresin capsicum (OC) spray, along with 9 millimeter handgun, M-16 rifle and shotgun qualifications.

LeCroy noted the last two graduating classes faced an even tougher challenge than the usual certifications and qualifications – Nashville's current deployment.

"Our schedule leads to some difficulties," said LeCroy. "We really have to work hard to get around the schedule from time-to-time with general quarters drills, other drills and gun shoots. Coordinating against the schedule from day-to-day is something that we had to really look hard at to make sure these Sailors were getting everything they needed."

But in some ways, SRF-B is more suited to an underway environment, with more than 90 percent of the course being a hands-on intensive study, LeCroy noted. The course includes empty-hand control techniques, or unarmed combat and personnel control, various uses of force including when and how to use the seven levels of force, including deadly force, personnel and vehicle security inspections and weapons training.

The course offers a wealth of topics and an opportunity for practical application of the skills learned.

"We had a lot of guys get a lot out of it," said LeCroy. "There is a lot of information in the course, and a lot of it is very in-depth. But they tend to do a good job in retaining that information. Even our more senior guys, people who have done this before, are able to learn a lot about how things work now compared to how it worked when they first went through."

Eighteen Sailors received their SRF-B qualifications during the most recent training. In all, 42 Sailors have taken the course during the current deployment, including Sailors from both the enlisted and officer ranks.

"We will be holding these classes monthly to make sure that we are ready to go when a problem arises," said Ashton. "Everyone here needs to make sure they are prepared to protect the ship. We'll do what we can to make sure that happens."

For more news from Nassau Expeditionary Strike Group, visit www.navy.mil/local/esg8/.

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