Personnel serving on the guided-missile cruiser USS Mobile Bay (CG 53) have conducted small-arm qualifications on the flight deck.
The qualifications were carried out while during routine operations. It is part of Mobile Bay’s efforts to increase the number of qualified sailors for armed in-port watches. This will ensure the ship is guarded around the clock, even when moored.
Sailors qualified in both the M9 service pistol and M4 rifle.
Lead small arms instructor gunner’s mate 1st class Kyle Galow said: “One of the things we are looking for in today’s evolution is for our anti-terrorism force protection officers to complete certain drill sets.
“By the end of this, all watchstanders should be qualified so they can stand their in-port watches.
“Some of the drill sets we’re looking for them to complete are reload drills, quick draw drills and small target engagements.”
More than 30 sailors were put through a series of assessments to test their ability to perform under pressure.
Echoing similar views, electronics technician 1st class Sven Ovesen said: “All the way up and down the chain of command, it’s important for everybody to have weapons qualifications. You never know what situation might happen and who might need to be available.”
USS Mobile Bay serves as the Air Defense Commander in the John C Stennis Carrier Strike Group (CSG), which is deployed to the US 5th Fleet area of operations.
Meanwhile, the John C Stennis CSG entered the Persian Gulf to support naval operations intended for maritime stability and security in the region.
According to Associated Press, it is the first deployment of an aircraft carrier in the area since the US Government withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal.