Naval Training Commander Visits Center for Security Forces

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Story Number: NNS140220-20Release Date: 2/20/2014 9:09:00 PM

By Darryl Orrell, Center for Security Forces Public Affairs

CHESAPEAKE, Va. (NNS) -- Commander, Naval Education and Training Command (NETC) visited the Center for Security Forces (CENSECFOR), Feb. 19, as part of a larger area visit.

NETC is one of the largest shore commands in the U.S. Navy. It not only provides training for Navy personnel, it also trains Marine Corps, Army, and Air Force personnel as well as international students from allied nations around the world.

Rear Adm. Mike White was greeted by the Center's executive leadership at the Center for Security Forces Detachment Chesapeake. White observed several training evolutions and took time to meet and speak with the training staff and students.

"I always like the chance to look you in the eye and say thank you for choosing to serve," said White speaking to students attending crew-served weapons training. "When you think about our nation and the small percentage of folks that will don a uniform, particularly in the business of using live weapons and being able to take on dangerous jobs, you are a very small portion of our country and I am very proud of you."

White also reinforced to students that the skills they are learning in class are indeed being used in the Fleet citing his recent deployment as Commander, Carrier Strike Group 11.

One of the stops included observing a visit, board, search and seizure (VBSS) class learning defensive tactics during their first week of training. The purpose of teaching defensive tactics is not to turn Sailors into martial arts experts. It is to teach them close quarter survival skills for situations when using their primary or secondary weapon is not a viable option.

The tour also included a stop at the indoor climbing tower where students learn the techniques of climbing and rappelling and inspecting large shipping containers at sea.

"The climbing tower and the Jacob's ladder climb is one of the pre-requisites for VBSS students. They must make the climb in two-minutes wearing a weighted vest. The vest is approximately 30 pounds and accounts for all gear, weapons and ammunition," said Instructor Chief Master-at-Arms David Paoletti.

Paoletti also presented other pieces of gear and rigging that VBSS teams use in boarding operations. Being no stranger to VBSS, White shared that search and seizure operations played an important role during his last deployment.

"During our time in Fifth Fleet, boardings were an important part of maintaining stability in the region and were common occurrences," said White.

Adjacent to the climbing tower is the "Ship-on-Land" trainer where students learn basic and advanced techniques and procedures to serve on a Security Reaction Force team. Students learn skills such as tactical team movements, how to effectively clear spaces, repel threats at entry control points, and much more.

The high point of the tour was visiting the modular indoor firing range and the Small Arms Weapons Simulator (SAWS). On the modular range, White easily demonstrated his proficiency with the M9 Service Pistol and the M4 Service Rifle.

The M240 medium and .50-caliber machine guns were the highlight of visiting the SAWS. These advanced simulators allow Sailors to learn both basic and advanced handing and operation for small arms and crew serve weapons in a controlled non-live fire environment.

The tour culminated with a visit to "Red Range" where the VBSS Force Protection Ship Simulator (FPSS) is located. In their third week of training, a class was on site performing boarding operations and engaging in scenario-based tactics.

The FPSS is a mock version of a civilian, non-commercial vessel. From the details on the bridge to the low level lighting in the engine room, the layout mimics all the sights, sounds, smells and obstacles that would be commonly found on such a vessel. The FPSS provides the means for students to apply the VBSS skills they have learned through realistic role-playing scenarios.

White had opportunity to observe students board the mock ship, proceed to the bridge, detain crew members, and make their way to the engine room all the while clearing and inspecting spaces along the way.

The Center for Security Forces provides specialized training to more than 28,000 students each year. It has 14 training locations across the U.S. and around the world - Where Training Breeds Confidence.

For more news from and information about the Center for Security Forces, visit us at,, or

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