Monday, June 28, 2010

Commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Visits MA "A" School

By Yeoman Seaman Steven Cooney, Center for Security Forces

June 28, 2010 - SAN ANTONIO (NNS) -- The commander of U.S. Fleet Forces (USFF) visited the Center for Security Forces June 24 and spoke to the vital role of Navy master-at-arms (MA) in today's Navy.

USFF is the executive agent for all antiterrorism force protection (ATFP) policies and procedures. During his visit, Adm. John C. Harvey, Jr., USFF, took a firsthand look into the training of the Navy master-at-arms.

"In my view, one of the key foundations in the ATFP effort is a very well trained and skilled core of master-at-arms personnel," he said.

The admiral's tour included visiting electronic classrooms, where the web-based training portion of the "A" School curriculum, including basic principles for select topics, is delivered. He then moved on to more hands-on practical exercises, observing students performing take down procedures for non-compliant suspects in the gymnasium as part of security force training.

During a break in training, Harvey took time to speak with students about the significance of what they are doing for the Navy as a master-at-arms.

"This is not a drill. The master-at-arms force is the first line of defense for our Sailors," said Harvey. "You may be the one person who stands between your shipmates and the enemy - an enemy who wants to kill them."

When asked about the level and quality of training students are receiving, Harvey responded "the training is a good baseline, however, as with all "A" School training, there will be parts that have to be made stronger.

"As we get more knowledgeable about the threat we are facing all over the world to our ships, squadrons, and Sailors, we need to bring that knowledge back to the schoolhouse to build upon," added Harvey.

Prior to departing, Harvey offered this advice for the Navy's next generation of master-at-arms: "Never forget the reality of the threat to our Navy and the immense duty that you have taken on - the protection of our fleet."

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