News: SUBGRU 9 Reservists Teach Weapon-Familiarization to Kitsap Sea Cadets
BANGOR, Wash. – Reserve sailors from Submarine Group 9, Force Protection Det. 1, taught a weapons-familiarization class to Keyport Sea Cadets at Naval Base Kitsap, July 9, 2011.
The class was the first event in a new relationship between SUBGRU 9 sailors and the Sea Cadets.
“This is the first time we have gotten together with the Sea Cadets, and we hope it will be the first of many,” said Cmdr. Jim Hackworth, commanding officer for the detachment.
The cadets, ranging in age from 12-17, were given hands on experience with weapon systems used on base by the Force Protection Det. including the M9 Beretta pistol, the M4 assault rifle, the M500 shotgun, and the M240B machine gun.
Weapons safety and rules for the use of force were the focus of the class.
Chief Warrant Officer Todd Fosberg, the detachment training officer, said, “The main takeaway for the kids is weapon safety that they can take back to their schools and teach their friends.”
Fosberg also said that the instruction was the same material given to all sailors who handle weapons.
According to Hackworth, the training provided a solid understanding of weapon safety for the cadets.
“If one of these kids goes back and sees another kid using a gun in an unsafe manner, he can stop it. I am confident that he would stop it based on what he learned here today,” said Hackworth.
Lt. Cmdr. Mike Evans, operations support officer at Commander Submarine Group 9, who works as the active duty liaison for the Det. was impressed by the training.
“I think these guys did a great job explaining gun safety,” said Evans. “Here we have professionals who are qualified and know how to handle weapons and can show these kids what the weapons can do and what they are meant for.”
“I think it really brought it home for them that these are more than water guns or something they would play with out in the woods and that real weapons are dangerous,” Evans said.
Evans congratulated the detachment for getting involved with the Sea Cadets, saying that the event was more than just training.
“Everything these guys have done here today falls right in line with a huge goal that the reserve forces has,” said Evans. “What this shows is that the Navy is involved within their communities.”
“It shows that they are living and working with you every day in the civilian force,” he said. “The difference is that one weekend a month they put on a uniform to receive the Navy training they need or possibly put on an event like we did here today.”
The event also benefits the Navy.
Naval Sea Cadet Corps Lt. j.g. Robert Medal, commanding officer for the Kitsap Sea Cadet Unit, who is also an active duty Navy Petty Officer 1st Class, can see his cadets becoming the Navy's next generation of sailors.
These are our future leaders,” Medal said. “I've been in the Navy for 18 and a half years and I would serve with any one of these guys.”