USS HARRY S. TRUMAN, At Sea (NNS) -- USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) security force personnel trained on the proper use of flares on the ship's fantail June 21, during the composite training unit exercise (COMPTUEX).
Flares assist in search and rescue (SAR) missions, man overboards, and in deterring potential small-boat threats. Sailors conducted this exercise as part of COMPTUEX in preparation for conducting maritime security operations during the upcoming deployment.
"We are out here training the security force on the proper execution of the flare," said Master-at-Arms 1st Class (SW/AW) Melvin Dickson. "Search and rescue missions are vital in saving a Sailor's life or a boat that is in need of help."
Flares are used to help aircraft identify rescue boats by locating a vessel that is in need of help. Flares make it easy to spot Sailors in need of immediate assistance because they emit a bright red light, which allows rescue units to easily identify the distress signal.
"The Lima 118 Flare is utilized during SAR missions to help locate Sailors that may have gone overboard," said Dickson.
The flare can also be used in defense of the ship. In hostile areas of the world, Truman sometimes sets defense postures when .50-caliber machine gun mounts are manned by Weapons Department personnel. These defense postures protect the ship against possible threats such as small boat attacks. The flares can be used during these times as non-lethal warning shots.
"The flare could be used anytime that the .50-cal. mounts are manned up," said Cmdr. Steve Anderjack, the ship's gun boss.
Flares, which are also used during man overboard drills, are a critical capability of the ship. Flares aid in saving personnel who have falling overboard and pilots that eject from their aircraft during night operations. Without these flares, locating Sailors in low-visibility conditions would be virtually impossible. By using these flares properly and effectively, lives can and will be saved, according to Anderjack.
Truman's security force is made up of Sailors from air, deck, weapons, operations and other departments. These Sailors are assigned to security operations as a temporary assigned duty.
The Security department conducts regular drills to keep Sailors trained and familiar with the weapons they are required to use.
For more news from USS Harry S. Truman, visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn75/.