USS Essex Undergoes Firearms Qualifications

Sailors aboard the Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD 2) completed a massive 10-day firearms qualification course June 2.

More than 150 Sailors attended the small-arms fire courses held by shipboard gunner’s mates.

The training course consisted of an eight-hour classroom session in addition to regular three-hour sessions throughout the week. According to Chief Gunner’s Mate David Pierce, the hours of work and the number of Sailors who completed the course are routine.

The firearms course teaches basic fundamentals of pistol marksmanship with an emphasis on personal protection and philosophy of use. At the end of firearms training, every Sailor who completed the course should be fully capable of employing these weapons.

A women’s self-defense course may be added to the course curriculum in the future.

USS Essex is part of the Essex Amphibious Ready Group (ARG), which consists of Essex, USS Rushmore (LSD 47), USS Anchorage (LPD 23) and their embarked complement of Marines from the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit (15th MEU).

Image: US Navy