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Training and Education

New Range, New Bullets, Same Course

Sailors complete training at Crew-Served Weapons Instructor Course

Sailors enrolled in the Center for Security Forces (CENSECFOR) Crew-Served Weapons (CSW) Instructor Course completed a training exercise using innovative training rounds at a new gun range on Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story Nov. 4.

The course trains Sailors how to use CSW, such as the 50 caliber, MK48 and M240L machine guns, as well as how to facilitate training at their parent commands.

"Once they get here, they learn to effectively train fleet Sailors on how to operate, maintain and employ these weapon systems," said Chief Master-at-Arms Thomas Pruter, course manager for CENSECFOR Operation and Maintenance for Crew-Served Weapons Instructor Course. "The course is open to pretty much anybody, as long as they have all of the prerequisites for the class-though, it's usually someone who's confident with weapons."

The new range location enables students the opportunity to shoot targets at a shorter range, which allows for the use of new, non-aerodynamic short-range training ammunition (SRTA) that forces Sailors to shoot with greater precision.

"[The range] is a great tool for us," said Pruter. "We don't have to drive all the way to Quantico-we can just come out here and shoot."

The class is an essential part of the Navy's mission to prevent a deficiency in weapons knowledge that could render ships inadequate to defend themselves.

"Once I get back to my ship, I'm going to be the only crew-served weapons instructor there," said Gunner's Mate 2nd Class Patrick Ramos, attached to Nimitz class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72). "I'm going to be able to go back to my ship and teach everyone how to use these guns the right way, from the Master-at-Arms to security to everyone standing watches with these machine guns."
CENSECFOR crew served weapons course graphic

Sailors enrolled in the Center for Security Forces (CENSECFOR) Crew-Served Weapons (CSW) Instructor Course completed a training exercise using innovative training rounds at a new gun range on Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story Nov. 4.


The class begins with a two-week course, during which Sailors learn basic operation, how to disassemble and assemble their weapons, condition codes and preliminary aspects of gun use. Sailors spend the third and fourth weeks using the guns at ranges, learning how to properly aim and troubleshoot the weapons.

"It's awesome; I like the way the instructors teach the course material," said Ramos. "At times, it's a lot to take in, but they put it in a way that you can retain it."

Drawing in over 200 students per year, the course trains a high volume of Sailors to operate small weapons both on ships and ashore. Sailors who complete the course earn the navy enlisted classification of CSW instructor and the responsibility of teaching Sailors in the fleet how to use some of its most common weapons within four weeks.

For more information, please visit www.netc.navy.mil/centers/csf