ATLANTIC OCEAN (NNS) -- Sailors aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) completed oelrisen capsicum (OC) spray usage certification, Oct. 24.
Members of the security department and the security reaction force basic (SRF-B) course participants lined up to demonstrate all the necessary skills to subdue a security threat while under the effects OC spray.
"The Sailors are required to experience the spray, to understand the effects so they will not abuse it." Said Chief Master-at-Arms David Buitrago. "They have to demonstrate baton techniques, baton strikes, verbal command, mach moves, and take downs through different stations before combining all of the techniques on one last obstacle; the Red Man."
The "Red Man" is a master-at-arms in protective red padding who poses as a security threat that the Sailors must take down using all their techniques and skills, this time played by Master-at-Arms 2nd Class Travis Markovich.
"I believe it's extremely important to train like we fight," said Markovich. "I try to make it as real as possible, actively resisting, and I won't let up until they prove they know what to do."
The Sailors waited their turn and displayed a range of emotion from very motivated to very anxious, watching what they would soon have to endure.
"I'm quite nervous and anxious," said Operations Specialist Seaman Rachel Baynard. "I honestly can't say how bad I think it'll be, just bad in general."
Two instructors stuck with each Sailor each as they underwent the test, calling out instructions, reprisals and support every step of the way.
"This is a tough but necessary point of their training," said Master-at-Arms 2nd Class Thomas Anderson. "Not only will the Sailors be more hesitant to use the spray freely, but they'll also know how to operate even if accidentally contaminated."
The OC spray causes an immediate effect on many of the Sailors, calling for them to push through the discomfort and complete their tasks, to be met with soap and a hose of water to help remove the spray at the end.
"It feels very, very bad," said Baynard. "I've never felt this kind of pain before."
It takes a varying amount of time for each Sailor to recover from the effects of the contamination, but many of them share their pride of not giving up and making it all the way through.
"It's not as bad as I thought it would have been, but still pretty bad," said Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Equipment) Airman Jasmine Caparosa. "I feel I could have done better, but I'm happy that I managed my way through."
The security forces on board Abraham Lincoln provide safety to all crew members from threats.
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