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First Live Fire for PCU Bush Small Arms Qualifications

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS080813-03
Release Date: 8/13/2008 3:29:00 PM

By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Tony Fricks, Pre-Commissioning Unit George H.W. Bush Public Affairs

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (NNS) -- Pre-Commissioning Unit (PCU) George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) has completed its first command Navy handgun qualification course (NHQC) at the outdoor pistol range on Naval Amphibious Base Little Creek July 23.

The NHQC course teaches the basic techniques of safety, familiarization, operating a handgun, and the handgun qualification for Sailors working permanently or temporarily in Bush's Security Department.

The first step in completing the NHQC is completing the weapons course on Navy Knowledge Online (NKO).

Bush Sailors must score 100 percent on the NKO weapons course to move onto weapons qualifications. According to Bush's range safety instructor, Aviation Ordnanceman 1st Class Roger Tesson of Bush's Weapons Department, Bush Sailors must attend three days of classroom briefs and participate in a three-day dry-fire session to become familiar with the fundamentals of marksmanship.

Approximately 125 Bush Sailors participated in the live-fire shooting at targets and were scored on their performance. Tesson said participants had to score at least a 180 out of 240 to qualify. Each Bush Sailor shot a pistol from distances of three yards, seven yards and 15 yards. A total of 48 bullets were shot at a target. The closer to the center of the target, the higher the score.

In addition to the actual weapons qualifications, some of Bush's Weapons Department Sailors were trained to act as line coaches to ensure Sailors were not in danger at any time.

"The most important thing when dealing with live weapons is safety," said Chief Gunner's Mate (SW) Wesley Burton, range safety officer. "We make sure everyone attends the training and safety briefs, so they know what to expect and how to react in live scenarios."

Sailors also must train and qualify to shoot rifles and shotguns after qualifying in the NHQC.

The aircraft carrier George H.W. Bush is under construction at Northrop Grumman Newport News Shipyard.

For more news from Pre-Commissioning Unit George H.W. Bush, visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn77/.



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