NIOC Georgia Sailors earn marksmanship qualifications
New arrivals and many of the existing crew assigned to NIOC-GA participate to earn their first qualification or re-qualify at a higher level. For some, this is their first opportunity to qualify after many years in the Navy.
“It can be surprising to see all the Sailors out there shooting perfect scores and handling firearms like second nature, some who haven’t held a weapon since boot camp,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael D. Pounds, NIOC-GA marksmanship team.
Sailors spent the day training using the M9 service pistol and M4 rifle during the qualification course. Participants worked with NRA certified instructors to demonstrate safe weapons handing and firing techniques from various distances and firing positions.
“If I had to put anything out to the command in regards to the qualification program, it would be that this program has been put in place for them. This isn’t for the command or for the leadership,” Pounds said.
“ This program was established to provide every Sailor the opportunity to familiarize themselves to our service weapons and train them on their proper usage,” Pounds said.
Many Sailors from NIOC-GA will deploy to surface, subsurface and air platforms where they will be required to carry out watch standing duties that are vital to crew safety and mission. In most cases, NIOC-Georgia provides weapons training for of Navy individual augmentees assigned to their command that will later server in theater.
“Since 2008 we have qualified over 1,200 Navy personnel to include aircrew and Naval Reserve” said Steve Meldrum, NRA instructor at Pinetucky Gun Club “I make sure everyone is comfortable and knowledgeable with each weapon they use to help them concentrate on the task at-hand.”
“I lend my 25-years of experience to everyone I help qualify” said Meldrum.
Marksmanship qualifications are held at the Pinetucky Gun Club one Thursday and Sunday every month for the remainder of the fiscal year, providing twenty-four opportunities for Sailors to qualify or re-qualify for marksmanship qualifications.
“The big thing that our Sailors need to realize is that there will be training prior to each firing event and it’s nothing like the high stress qualifications that take place at boot camp. We have the capabilities and trainers available to accommodate virtually any need that a Sailor would have in order to qualify with our weapons.” said Pounds.