• Mon. Oct 3rd, 2022

DVIDS – News – Security personnel participate in M240 training

Sailors from Naval Station Security Department (NAVSTA) Rota gather for a weapons familiarization course at the Sierra del Retin firing range near Barbate, Spain, Feb. 8, 2022.

The training was aimed at qualifying security personnel on the M240 machine gun, as they have the potential to use the weapon system on boats. It was the first such training for the department since 2019 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This training is very important for sailors since most of them have never seen or had the opportunity to get their hands on this weapon,” said Master-at-Arms 1st Class Austin Harvey. “It gives them the opportunity to learn a new skill on a new weapon system and gives them the opportunity to pass on the information they have received to other sailors who may never have seen these weapons. also.”

According to Harvey, the M240 is a very reliable weapon system, but there is always the potential for careless discharge. With that in mind, being able to use a weapon like this under potentially stressful conditions only makes training that much more important. This is why training must take place annually for anyone who fires the weapon and weapons instructors are required to attend twice a year.

“The amount and quality of training needs to be at the highest level to instill confidence and that all-important muscle memory in every sailor who uses it,” Harvey said. “It’s very important because if the time comes when we have to use the 240, we have highly trained and competent gunners who are able to use the gun under stressful conditions.”
This training required a little more coordination to put in place because it had been more than two years since the previous course. Additionally, there is no firing range located at the facility to conduct this type of filming, so it was necessary to request assistance from the host nation to support the request.

“Pulling the lineup together was more about rethinking the process since we haven’t had one since 2019, and anyone who knew how to do that has already changed duty stations,” Harvey said. “You normally use a program called RFMSS (Range Facility Management Support System) to plan a time slot, whereas here, since the 240 slot is a Spanish-controlled slot, we had to rely on Mrs. Brenda Navarro Castellet, the host country protocol adviser, make these arrangements for us.

Several approvals and logistics were required in close coordination with our Spanish counterparts to make this practice shoot a reality. The Spanish assisted us in accomplishing our mission by providing the firing range and providing off-base weapons security escorts to the firing range underscoring the partnership between the two countries.

“The Spaniards were very helpful in this process and it was great to work with them,” said Harvey. “It’s always good to be able to establish these working/professional relationships with our host country partners so that we can organize these types of training events and it helps to give them an understanding of how we operate.”

So while these types of training may be routine and easily coordinated in the United States, it is clear that overseas the need for a strong partnership with the host nation is necessary to meet the general training qualification. . This development highlights that the close ties we have here with our Spanish counterparts are just as important as the training itself.

Date taken: 03.10.2022
Date posted: 03.10.2022 03:03
Story ID: 416156
Location: ROTA, ES

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