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Fort Worth Sailors target increased weapons qualifications during DWE

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FORT WORTH, Texas  –  On an early Saturday morning at the gun range aboard Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Fort Worth, a group of 50 Sailors outfitted in Type III digital-camouflage uniforms don protective equipment and thigh-rig weapon holsters. A range safety officer recites safety protocol verbatim aloud. The Sailors listen intently as they prepare for the day’s multiple courses of fire.  
 
It’s drill weekend for Navy Reserve Naval Security Forces (NSF) Fort Worth. In accordance with the Navy Reserve Fighting Instructions, released by Chief of Navy Reserve (CNR) Vice Adm. John Mustin, the unit is actively conducting focused training to prepare Sailors for mobilization billets.
 
Weapons qualifications and sustainment training on the M9 semi-automatic pistol, M500 shotgun and M4 assault rifle are the primary objectives during the drill period.
 
“Our mission is to ensure our Sailors are ready to deploy,” said Reserve Chief Master-at-Arms Joe Rogers, the unit’s senior enlisted leader. “We’re the Reserve security arm. So, every month we train within our scope of law enforcement and force protection.”
 
In preparation for the day’s first course of fire, the unit’s small-arms marksmanship instructor (SAMI), Reserve Master-at-Arms First Class Arthur Trevino, directs eight Sailors to pick up a 9mm handgun which has been pre-staged at the ready line in their firing lanes. They are instructed to ensure their weapon is clear and safe, and then to place their weapon into Condition One.
 
“Shooters, with your six-round magazine, load and make ready,” Trevino commands. “Ensure your safety is on. Holster your weapon.”
 
Two line coaches patrol each of the lanes to ensure compliance before signaling the SAMI to proceed.
“A lot of the guys in the unit are civilian police officers,” said Trevino. “Each of them brings a variety of knowledge and experience, which increases our readiness level.”
 
Trevino proceeds to instruct the shooters, “First course of fire is going to be two rounds in four seconds, two rounds in four seconds. Stand by…Fire!”
 
As a Reserve security force, NSF Fort Worth Sailors augment the installation’s active component. The unit’s members also receive mobilization orders to support various missions both stateside and overseas.
 
“Right now, we have Sailors deployed in multiple locations around the world providing security and logistics support,” said Rogers. “My Sailors joined the Navy for a reason. They believe in our mission. They believe in their patriotic duties to our country.”
 
Those sentiments were echoed by Reserve Master-at-Arms Second Class Sly Cameron, a unit Sailor who also patrols the Dallas-Fort Worth area as a civilian police officer for the Mansfield Police Department.
 
“It’s a needed profession,” said Cameron. “I come from a family of law enforcement. My dad, my brother and sister, we’re all police officers. So, I’m able to bring my outside experience and training to help mold the unit because at the end of the day, we’ve got to be ready for any and all situations.”
 
In the Fighting Instructions directive, which calls on Reserve Sailors and units to focus efforts on warfighting readiness, CNR identifies three tenets: Design the Force, Train the Force, Mobilize the Force. 
 
These principles serve as the basis of CNR’s vision for the Navy Reserve force to identify warfighting capabilities best suited for the Reserve component, which provide a clear benefit to the Navy. They guide the force to focus training efforts on preparing Navy Reserve Sailors for their mobilization billets. And, the instructions direct the force to develop and employ rapid mobilization processes like Distributed Mobilization to ensure large-scale readiness for conflict against a peer or near-peer adversary.
 
“Achieving strategic depth and improving warfighting readiness requires us to build on the hard work completed so far with a sense of urgency,” said Mustin.

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