Sailors aboard the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Stethem (DDG 63) are maintaining weapons qualifications and proficiency on a temporary small-arms range constructed on the ship’s flight deck during this patrol.
The Navy requires Sailors to demonstrate understanding and proficiency with the use of weapons prior to standing armed watches for their afloat and ashore commands. These Sailors often act as guards or sentries while their ships are in port to provide security for the pier, ship and Sailors.
Fire Controlman 2nd Class Matthew Cervantes, said:
It’s the nature of the Navy to have Sailors constantly flowing in and out of commands with different qualifications, but it is essential to our mission readiness that we maintain an adequate number of small-arms qualified personnel on Stethem at all times.
Before allowing Sailors to demonstrate their proficiency by firing at a paper target, Stethem’s gunner’s mates conducted training on the mechanics of the 9mm, as well as techniques and rules for handling a loaded weapon.
Stethem is forward deployed conducting operations as part of the George Washington Strike Group in the 7th Fleet area of responsibility supporting security and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.
Press release, Image: US Navy