By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jared Harral
Sailors assigned to U.S. 7th Fleet flagship USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19) participated in Security Reaction Force-Basic (SRF-B) training while on patrol supporting theatre security operations in the Indo-Asia Pacific region.
Blue Ridge began holding SRF-B March 9, utilizing underway time to fulfill watch-standing requirements.
“Conducting the class underway is more difficult, because there is a lot of flexibility involved in working around the ship’s schedule,” said Master-at-Arms 1st Class Trucquynh Hua, Blue Ridge’s SRF-B training supervisor. There are also many variables such as high winds on the flight deck, the listing of the ship and shipboard drills.”
The purpose of SRF-B training is to provide a force capable of immediately augmenting the duty section security forces with armed, trained, and equipped personnel who are able to respond to an increased threat situation.
“We provide a lot of valuable information for the watch-standers,” said Hua. “Even with being underway and our ship’s schedule, we were still able to provide our Sailors with the training required for them to qualify to stand watch.”
The first part of the course consists of classroom lectures about basic watch-standing principles and rules, followed by hand-to-hand combat and weapons training. The second half of the course teaches Sailors to become more efficient in dealing with hostile situations and how to react appropriately with the proper level of force when a real-life situation arises.
“I feel more capable standing up on the brow and protecting the ship,” said Culinary Specialist 1st Class Gerald Foxworth, a student in the recent class. “I’ll be taking a lot of techniques and skills from the walkthroughs and training scenarios with me on watch.”
Blue Ridge will continue the remainder of the SRF-B course in-port as the ship concluded its first patrol of the year March 28.
Blue Ridge is commanded by Capt. Richard McCormack and has been forward deployed to Yokosuka, Japan for 34 years. As the flagship for Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet, Vice Adm. Robert L. Thomas, Blue Ridge is vital in maintaining partnerships in the 7th Fleet area of operations.