JOINT BASE CHARLESTON, S.C. –
When two gunmen opened fire at an event in Texas recently, it was a stark reminder that terrorism is a growing threat within the United States. To meet the threat to society, including military installations, a professional, vigilant security network is required.
The Navy Reserve Navy Security Force Joint Base Charleston - Weapons Station began a week of training on May 4, 2015. The training is to ensure all members of the NRNSF unit are mission ready to support their active duty counterparts throughout Joint Base Charleston. The unit augments the 628th Security Forces Squadron at JB Charleston, which provides security for both the Air Base and Weapons Station.
Lieutenant Kenneth Hagel, commanding officer, NRNSF JB Charleston - Weapons Station said, "We need to train so that we are interchangeable with our active duty folks. We are here to support their needs." He added, "We are fully integrated with Joint Base Charleston security."
The reservists handle the same jobs as active duty personnel to include: manning the gates, conducting patrols on the bases, doing boat patrols on nearby rivers and patrolling the flight line. Additionally, they provide security for any special events that may arise. Recently, the city of North Charleston joined the U.S. Navy in celebrating the 100th year of the U.S. Navy Reserve. The festivities took place in Riverfront Park and the NRNSF provided security as well as static displays highlighting Navy Reserve capabilities.
Master at Arms Chief Scott Perry, the senior enlisted member of the reserve unit, with 16 years of naval service and a 21 year veteran of the North Charleston Police Department commented, "Most of the members in the unit serve as law enforcement officers in the civilian community. They bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to our support role. " Chief Perry also said, "I have been with this unit for quite a while. I have seen a lot of changes but the relationship between active duty and reservist is the best it has ever been. Our interaction, whether it is with the Navy or the Air Force, is seamless. We are a joint force now."
The training schedule for the week included: taser, self-defense and baton classes, completion of a swimming test and qualification with a 9mm weapon including low light scenarios. Additional courses provided were: Use of Deadly Force; Air Force Use of Force; Arms, Ammunition and Explosives training; and the Lautenberg and Privacy Acts.
While the training regimen is stringent, Master at Arms First Class Ben Strock, a reserve unit leading petty officer, stated, "All of these efforts are about mission readiness. We need to be ready to step up when called."
Reserve unit members also integrate into the local community by volunteering with organization such as Habitat for Humanity and Toys for Tots.
Hagel concluded, "The goal this week is to ensure all unit members have the training necessary to be mission ready to support our joint base partners both military and civilian. That's what we are here for."
NRNSF JB Charleston - Weapons Station continues to train to contribute to the joint force security mission.