Sailors aboard the U.S. Navy Ticonderoga class guided-missile cruiser USS Mobile Bay (CG 53) participated in small-arms qualifications on the flight deck while conducting routine operations, Dec. 19.
Sailors qualified in both the M9 service pistol and the M4 rifle as part of Mobile Bay’s efforts to increase the number of qualified Sailors for armed in-port watches so the ship can remain guarded at all times, even while moored.
“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,” said Gunner’s Mate 1st Class Kyle Galow, lead small arms instructor. “By the end of this, all watch standers should be qualified so they can stand their in-port watches.”
Galow and his team led over 30 Sailors through a series of different assessments, testing their ability to perform under pressure.
“Some of the drill sets we’re looking for them to complete are reload drills, quick draw drills and small target engagements,” said Galow.
Like Galow, Electronics Technician 1st Class Sven Ovesen, one of the Sailors participating in the event, believes obtaining weapon qualification is critical for the success of the ship.
“All the way up and down the chain of command, it’s important for everybody to have weapons qualifications,” said Ovesen. “You never know what situation might happen and who might need to be available.”
The John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group is deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations in support of naval operations to ensure maritime stability and security in the Central Region, connecting the Mediterranean and the Pacific through the western Indian Ocean and three strategic choke points.