USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) has a limited number of masters-at-arms and, on a ship home to more than 3,000 Sailors, Security needs a little help from the rest of the crew.
Masters-at-arms (MAs) form the core of TR’s Security force. Sailors assigned temporary duty to Security, round out and complete the force.
“No matter how many secret squirrel radios that you have or antennas you think you have, you still need a physical body out there,” said Master-at-Arms 2nd Class Natasha Gomez.
“We have 18 MAs aboard,” said Gomez. “While at sea, our security force is made up of 86 personnel, and while in port 180 personnel.”
Most personnel assigned to Security come from other departments and have no prior training. Sailors attend a three-week course called Security Reaction Force Bravo that helps get them up to speed.
“We qualify in the M9, M16 and M240 (firearms),” said Operations Specialist 3rd Class Terese Clark. “You get a lot of qualifications that no one else on the ship can get.”
Security Reaction Force Bravo Training class teaches lethal and non-lethal weapon fundamentals. Sailors also learn hand-to-hand combat skills, including take down techniques that immobilize a suspect.
“There’s also an advanced class they can send you to,” said Clark. “There they teach you basics on SWAT (Special Weapons and Tactics). You go through scenarios and use plastic pellets in your weapons to simulate live fire.”
In port, Security conducts roving watches and ID checks on both the ship and the pier.
“While we’re in port, we are very cautious about what is out there that can harm us as well,” said Gomez.
Masters-at-arms along with their TAD counterparts stand a watch, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to keep our ship and shipmates safe.
By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Jenna Kaliszewski, USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) Public Affairs