Sailors are called to wear many hats in addition to their primary jobs while serving aboard a ship. All hands are trained to work together to fight fires, others have collateral duties such as financial counselors or fitness leaders. Some Sailors receive specialized training to form a highly trained tactical team known as a “Security Reaction Force” that responds to exceptional threats or attacks to the ship.
The Center for Security Forces (CENSECFOR), Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, trains Sailors with academic curriculum in the classroom and practical hands-on training in the field. This combination develops a Security Reaction Force that is capable of protecting the ship, its mission and crew from acts of terrorism or sabotage.
“We train our Sailors to protect the fleet,” said Chief Sonar Technician Jeremy Sosh, instructor for the Navy's Security Reaction Force - Advanced (SRF-A) course.
“We present them with a lot of stressful situations where they have to respond by identifying a scenario, whether they should shoot or counter the threat with non-lethal weapons, such as [Oleoresin capsicum] spray or batons. Or whether they can deescalate the situation and maintain security without resorting to [an increased use of force],” said Sosh.
According to Sosh, one of the biggest anticipated threats to Sailors at sea are fires; however, he also expressed that Sailors must know how to respond to threats that are less anticipated but just as likely.
“Combat is something that's far removed from a lot of Sailor's minds, so when they come here for this training, we reinforce the fact that situations where they may come under fire or encounter a potential explosive device near them are possible.”