Carl Vinson Master-at-Arms Prepare for Operations at Sea

Story Number: NNS090122-14Release Date: 1/22/2009 2:07:00 PM
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By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Kristan Robertson, USS Carl Vinson Public Affairs

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (NNS) -- Sailors assigned to the security division aboard Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) are taking steps this January to increase the force protection of the ship by implementing new training drills aimed at enhancing the readiness of assigned security forces.

The drills play an integral role in preparing Carl Vinson's Sailors for future operations at sea.

"We have to train to be prepared for any potential threat from land, air, or sea," said Master-at-Arms 1st Class (SW) Christine Conley. "A lot of what we train for comes from incidents that we have experienced and learned from throughout history, such as the USS Cole (DDG 67) bombing, other real-world situations, and research analysis."

Each drill is preceded by a familiarization brief held 24 hours in advance, which helps the ship's master-at-arms personnel brush up on security procedures and protocol for a given situation. The drills commence at random hours and run until the assigned training objectives have been met.

Drill organizers said these specially designed training evolutions help Sailors think through complex situations they could potentially face while working in an operational environment.

"Our goal is to take a hard look at any kind of threat that our ship or our crew could experience," said Conley. "Our job is to establish perimeters and maintain the safety of the crew at all times and in any situation so we can deter those threats."

The new security drills go hand-in-hand with the ship's resumption of shipboard general quarters drills, which together are making a big difference in ensuring Carl Vinson's Sailors are ready for their return to operational status.

"We're on the first phase of training and will continue to take baby steps to get our people certified to get underway, while ensuring everyone is safe and secure," said Master-at-Arms 2nd Class (SW) Patrick McKay. "We must train like we fight, and we're training hard to get back out to sea while keeping this ship safe."

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