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GW Sailors, FAST Marines Cross-Train on Shipboard Security Measures

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS090525-10
Release Date: 5/25/2009 8:29:00 AM

By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman William P. Gatlin, USS George Washington Public Affairs

ABOARD USS GEORGE WASHINGTON, At Sea (NNS) -- Thirty Marines assigned to Fleet Anti-Terrorism Security Team Pacific (FASTPAC) Company, 5th Platoon, based at Fleet Activities Yokosuka, are underway with USS George Washington (CVN 73) conducting joint security force training with GW security personnel.

Marine Capt. Christopher Dell, the platoon commander, said cross training opportunities like this one allow members of both services to enhance their training and experience in order to better maintain the overall security of the ship.

"I think it's very beneficial for the Marines and Sailors to integrate together," said Master-at-Arms 1st Class Mark Delisle, who serves as GW's command investigator and leading petty officer of Operations Department's ON division. "Even though both services use basically the same techniques and tactics, cross training gives both Sailors and Marines an opportunity to learn different things that each of us might do differently. That's mainly what it's all about. We're just trying to broaden our horizons as it relates to doing our jobs."

The Marines came on board to share with Sailors their expertise in the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program (MCMAP) and non-lethal hand-to-hand combat. They'll also conduct Mechanical Advantage Control Hold (MACH) drills, oleoresin capsicum (OC) spray qualifications and weapons training, as well as visit, board, search, and seizure (VBSS) drills.

"We will be instructing GW masters-at-arms in MCMAP techniques to better protect themselves and using hand-to-hand and baton MACH drills to further train them in their existing abilities to maintain the safety of GW against any confrontation," said Squad Leader Cpl. Austin Rice.

MACH, Rice explained, utilizes a subject's body positioning, movement, momentum, and joint manipulation to make a suspect's own resistance work against them. Rice said the techniques can limit the risk of injury to both the security personnel as well as the suspect.

"I think we can do a lot to help with the overall security of the ship," Dell added. "When a ship hits major ports, FAST Marines have the resident knowledge of site and pierside security. Because of that, we are able augment security in a way that will allow the MA's to focus on actual ship-based security."

FAST companies maintain forward-deployed platoons at naval installations around the world in order to quickly respond to crises. They are frequently tasked to provide antiterrorism and weapons training to other security personnel, along with performing limited-duration security missions and augment existing installation security.

GW is underway in the western Pacific Ocean conducting its Combat Efficiency Evaluation in preparation for its scheduled deployment.


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