Carl Vinson Sailors Earn Pistol Quals

Story Number: NNS080521-02Release Date: 5/21/2008 10:03:00 AM
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By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Candice Villarreal, USS Carl Vinson Public Affairs

NORFOLK (NNS) -- Sailors aboard USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) gathered at Naval Amphibious Base Little Creek May 8, where they earned 9 millimeter pistol qualifications as part of the command's ongoing weapons qualification program.

For the Sailors involved, many from the ship's Security division and Weapons department, the qualifications and training on safe weapons handling techniques go hand-in-hand with preparations being made to return the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier to the fleet, as the ship draws nearer to the completion of its scheduled 40-month refueling complex overhaul.

"The more familiar our Sailors are with their weapons and the more they practice shooting, the better it is for our overall mission," said Chief Gunner's Mate (SW) Scott Guffey, leading chief petty officer for G-2 division. "We make sure our weapons and security personnel are all trained to the best of their ability. It makes them more comfortable with their weapons on watch and allows them to focus more on their surroundings."

The training evolution incorporated first-time qualifications and requalifications to effectively meet the crew's training requirements. While at the range, Sailors practiced shooting during normal and low light, as well as physical and tactical evolutions.

"We are gearing-up for the at-sea missions that the crew will be conducting in the near future," said Gunner's Mate Seaman Kara Smith. "The goal is to have safe operating procedures and sharp tactical skills and make that second-nature for our crew."

Guffey added that Sailors from Carl Vinson's Weapons department and the ship's security force refresh their pistol and rifle shooting skills and re-earn their qualifications every six months.

"We'll be at sea again very soon," said Guffey. "The overall mission and reason we train is to make sure the ship and the crew are safe at all times, no matter what. Our job is to secure and protect this aircraft carrier from any potential threats that are out there."

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