By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class (SW) Robert Guerra, USS Leyte Gulf Public Affairs
USS LEYTE GULF, At sea (NNS) -- Sailors aboard the guided-missile cruiser USS Leyte Gulf (CG 55) are taking part in specialized training designed to bolster the ships security force while underway in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility May 29.
Twenty-four Sailors from various departments on the ship are currently undergoing a Security Reaction Force-Basic (SRF-B)training class to learn protection fundamentals including Operational Risk Management (ORM), firearm safety, Anti-Terrorism Force Protection (ATFP), watch standing and the Use of Force continuum.
This is the third SRF-B class that the command has offered in its efforts to build upon the current ATFP manning. The class uses a "walk, crawl, run" approach with emphasis on self defense fundamentals and procedural awareness.
"Every operation, both on and off duty, requires some degree of decision making," said Chief Fire Controlman Nathan Rose, SRF-B course instructor. "ORM helps individuals manage that risk and enhances operational capability. Ship's security forces must make tough, complex decisions in a matter of minutes. It's necessary to anticipate and manage risk by planning because the acceptance of risk does not equate to the willingness to gamble."
Once Sailors master the principles of ORM, they move forward in classroom training to also learn about weapons capabilities and the varying degrees of force that may be used in given situations. During the second week of training, Sailors begin the practical implementation of self defense and tactical movement techniques.
"Training in non-lethal weapon capabilities provide the lesser means that can be considered prior to using deadly force," said Chief Master-at-Arms Donald Rollins, SRF-B course instructor. "Non-lethal weapon training provides a wider range of options that augment, but do not replace, traditional means of deadly force. It's vital to use only the proportional force necessary to eliminate the threat."
The course will come to completion when all Sailors participating in the training undergo Oleoresin Capsicum (OC), commonly known as pepper spray, that irritates the eyes while Sailors practice fighting against an aggressor.
"OC is an additional non-lethal option in the spectrum of the use of force continuum," said Rose. "Sailors are exposed to OC in order to build their confidence in the event they are cross-contaminated during an incident. It gives them the confidence to know they can fight through it."
Sailors who successfully complete the basic course aboard the ship will be qualified to continue their training with an additional two-week advanced course upon return to homeport.
Leyte Gulf is deployed as part of Enterprise Carrier Strike Group (CSG) in support of maritime security operations in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility.