US Navy Times: "E-4, below barred from standing armed watch"

sgtpepperband

War Hero
Moderator
Book Reviewer
#1
US Navy Times said:
E-4*, below barred from standing armed watch

NORFOLK, Va. — Sailors below E-5 are temporarily barred from standing armed watches aboard Atlantic Fleet surface ships, and chiefs and up must monitor crew-served weapons stations, following four instances of negligent firearms discharges aboard separate ships since June.

One of the rounds was fired from a ship moored in Portsmouth, Va., across the Elizabeth River toward downtown Norfolk.

The four events prompted Rear Adm. Dave Thomas, Naval Surface Force Atlantic commander, to simultaneously direct a comprehensive review of weapons qualifications and training documentation for armed watchstanders and to order ships to fully qualify their watchstanding teams. Once that’s done, ships may lift the rank restrictions, said Lt. Cmdr. Bill Urban, a command spokesman.

Thomas imposed the rank limitations, the review and the qualifications requirements Aug. 25, a day after the latest incident, in which an M240B machine gun was discharged from the deck of the destroyer James E. Williams while the ship was moored at MHI Ship Repair & Services in Norfolk, Urban said. That shot was believed to have hit the water.

The other incidents:

• An M240B was discharged July 20 aboard the amphibious transport dock San Antonio while it was tied up at Earl Industries Shipyard in Portsmouth, with the weapon pointed toward downtown Norfolk. There were no reports of damage or injury.

• A third discharge involving an M240B occurred June 17 while the destroyer Mahan was getting underway in Mayport, Fla. The round is believed to have hit a sand dune across the St. James River.

• A sailor on the coastal patrol ship Tempest in 5th Fleet shot himself in the foot with a 9mm pistol while removing it from the holster when coming off watch June 19, Urban said.

In addition to directing the review of qualifications and training documentation aboard all SURFLANT ships — to be completed by group and squadron commanders by Sept. 8, Urban said — Thomas directed all ships to temporarily limit the issuance of firearms to “qualified sailors E-5 and above.â€

He also required that a weapons supervisor who is a chief or higher temporarily supervise all crew-served weapons stations, Urban said.

Commanders must ensure that sailors meet the eight specific requirements to become certified to carry weapons before they can lift the rank restrictions, which several ships already have done, he said.

Two of the four incident investigations are complete, Urban said. Some of the sailors were given nonjudicial punishment, and “other administrative actions†were taken, Urban said.
* - Petty Officer Third Class, the fourth enlisted rank in the U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard, just above Seaman and below Petty Officer Second Class, and is the lowest rank of non-commissioned officer, equivalent to a Corporal/Leading Hand

[Source]
 
#3
sgtpepperband said:
Commanders must ensure that sailors meet the eight specific requirements to become certified to carry weapons before they can lift the rank restrictions, which several ships already have done, he said.
The eight being:

- Must not be a parole-dodging retard.
- Must not high-five people or whoop inappropriately.
- Must not have been abused by close family members.
- Must not be from a land-locked Southern State.
- Must not be on punishment for anything.
- Must have finished School without having had an abortion or Jail term.
- Must have attended a training establishment without using hard drugs.
- Must own a book without pictures in it.

This basically means that only the Captain and any Royal Navy personnel on exchange can guard the fleet I imagine :twisted:
 
#4
Re: US Navy Times: "E-4, below barred from standing armed wa

:geek: Way back when the sky was always blue, I was boozing oppos with a U.S.N. C.P.O. in Honk. He told me that 90% of recruits had their first pair of decent shoes on enlistment. :( I've travelled through the states and witnessed poverty to equal the third world just off the main drag inmost cities. :?
 
#5
Before everyone jumps on the US Navy for this, I'd be interested to know the figures for NDs in the RN. I once had to investigate an incident in my ship involving an AB messing around with a Sterling which resulted in the crippling and subsequent medical discharge of an outstanding killick. And that was before the routine issue of weapons and live ammo to sentries.
 

Seaweed

War Hero
Book Reviewer
#6
Quite, NG. When we did start using Jack as an armed sentry I think he managed to shoot a Pompey civilian in Queen St.
 
#7
Met a young lad in the gym at Collingwood ('94, '95 ?) missing a lot of muscle on one of his upper arms. He had been the recipient of an ND whilst in the sangar at Airport Wharf, Belfast harbour. Considering how small that place was\is I was amazed he still had bone left

What also scared him was that whilst he was pumped full of drugs he was told to sign some paperwork - of what he signed he had no idea. Hope pusser didn't shaft him.
 

Seadog

War Hero
Moderator
#8
Re: US Navy Times: "E-4, below barred from standing armed wa

NG wrote
Before everyone jumps on the US Navy for this, I'd be interested to know the figures for NDs in the RN.
Quite right. I know of 3 NDs first hand (all benign environments) and not by my hand. Another incident in which a loaded weapon was being fcuked about with for a so-called laugh was terminated by a rather physical PO. The puns should have been more severe.

Then there is the duelling QMs dit. The Booties say that the most dangerous thing in the world is Jolly Jack with a loaded weapon.
 

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