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Thread: Official: Mahan Sailor Shot Intruder

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    Senior Member BURAWSKI's Avatar
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    Official: Mahan Sailor Shot Intruder

    This article surprised me a little because it seems to be a trend. The second shooting I have heard about recently occurring in a secure stateside Naval facility. I hope I am wrong about that. I was fortunate never to encounter anything like what I am reading about when I stood watches aboard ship, either stateside or overseas.

    http://www.navytimes.com/article/20140325/NEWS/303250065/Official-Mahan-sailor-shot-intruder







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    Re: Official: Mahan Sailor Shot Intruder

    Two incidents in six months may indicate a larger issue.

    In the case of what happened at NAVSEA, it is pretty obvious there was a systemic issue as the shooter had been displaying some disturbing behaviour and no one either in the Navy or in his employer seemed to care. I suspect the guy did the NMCI tech refresh at my facility last year (I'm in a restricted area) as I work at a NSWC in the same area. Gives you food for thought.

    In this case, it will be interesting to see what the background on the shooter is in case there is something that should have been acted on and wasn't. It will also be interesting to see the after-action report on what the POOW and OOD did/did not do in this case that resulted in the shooter gaining control of the weapon the watchstander had.

    My condolences to the family of the Sailor that lost their life doing their job.

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    Senior Member AJBIGJ's Avatar
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    Re: Official: Mahan Sailor Shot Intruder

    I have to say, considering everything, the outcome was much better than it could have been. At least the roving sentry was on their game and the assailant was stopped beyond a single death.
    "The two enemies of the people are criminals and government, so let us tie the second down with the chains of the Constitution so the second will not become the legalized version of the first." ~ Thomas Jefferson

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    Re: Official: Mahan Sailor Shot Intruder

    When comparing the MAHAN incident to the Navy Yard incident what I find to be overly similar is that both 'shooters' are reported to have actually had access to the base/facility (how good of a job is being done to screen personnel for access, to periodically rescreen and of supervisors / leaders to report behavior that may warrant suspension of access. It does seem that the ship’s security did a better job of immediate response than what happened at the Navy Yard, I am not sure of where onboard the DDG the shooting(s)took place or if the responders had to maneuver to engage the responder.

    A big difference in these two most recent incidents is that the Navy Yard shooter came armed and the MAHAN shooter is reported to have disarmed a sentry / rover and was subsequently dealt with by ship's force security personnel.

    I am particularly bothered that a sentry was disarmed but not overly surprised that it happened; I have said to a few people in the past that it would not be hard to do. I have been off the waterfront for nearly 19 months, but when there most of the AT/FP and security was focused on an external threat (someone coming across the brow, swimming to the hull etc.) vice someone who was actually authorized to be onboard becoming hostile; I am not sure how much of the security protocol for the Navy Yard or for most shore facilities cover an internal threat. After 10 years of observing Sailors standing posts either topside of a ship or at entry control points, I am fairly confident that if I wanted I could overpower, disarm and kill most of those I have seen standing their security watch (even though I am 41 and not in the same shape I was when I was in the Marines -- I am still in better shape than the vast majority of those I observe.)

    Part of my logic is no doubt from my time as a Marine, but this is in part why (In my opinion) we should look (in part) at physical conditioning as more than a 'check in the box' requirement and strength, hand to hand or combatives training as a consideration for Sailors (especially for those expected to be a topside watchstander in port.) I have also argued many times that I view the main necessity for physical conditioning for Sailors based on the expected physical demands of fighting a fire – I could really care less if a Sailor can run 1 ½ miles in 10 minutes as opposed to the expectation that the average Sailor carry another average-sized person from the Engine room to the main deck or topside or can that Sailor, having donned all the firefighting equipment exert themselves physically for a couple of hours (possibly with periodic breaks) – if not that Sailor is probably not in good enough shape to be of use to the fire fighting party.

    Admittedly, sentry duty is another duty we are putting on a Sailor who is already trying to balance proficiency with their rating, their shipbourne duties (ESWS etc.) and their general Navy duties/training; recent incidents are making me wonder the following questions:

    1. Is there enough time in the typical day / week to maintain proficiency in everything?
    Probably not

    2. Does our shipboard training for sentries adequately plan for a threat that is internal to the lifelines of the ship?
    In my observations, not for the average sentry.

    3 Is the Navy doing enough to train every Sailor who is expected to be a Sentry to deal with an up close personal (physical) attack?
    No, not even close.

    4. Are leaders reporting questionable behavior that may warrant suspending a person’s access to the base, a ship, firearms etc?
    I would guess not all are willing to do it ‘officially’ which to me is a problem.

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    Senior Member Rusty Jones's Avatar
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    Re: Official: Mahan Sailor Shot Intruder

    I've wondered this for a while myself. The Marine Corps has MCMAP, the Army has Army Combatives... so why doesn't the Navy have anything similar?

    I remember SRF-B training, where one of the stations was punching a bag a few times... and that's the only requirement for that station. You don't actually have to look like you know what you're doing.

    I remember SRF-B going on underway on the flight deck, and our new TRAINO started punching the bag... and couple of the guys on the aft missile deck just started busting out laughing. It's not that this guy didn't look "cool" like a professional fighter training for the next fight. He didn't look like he wasn't any putting effort into it. He just looked totally... pathetic. Most of the women onboard were punishing that bag better than he could. I was actually more upset than anything; not at him... but at the fact that what he was doing actually met the requirement to pass SRF-B.

    I will say that SRF-B is pretty valuable, as it provides Sailors with training that wasn't provided years earlier. Before, all you had to do in order to stand a watch was a PQS and a weapons qual. So SRF-B is better than nothing. However, "better than nothing" just isn't good enough; and it looks like the Navy has just learned that lesson.

    It's my understanding that the Marine Corps and Army routinely practice their martial arts programs frequently, just like PT. So not only are they trained in it, but their proficiency is always maintained. Why the Navy can't adopt something similar, I don't know.
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    Re: Official: Mahan Sailor Shot Intruder

    Active shooter scenarios are hard to train the general workforce for.

    Most police departments and security forces train a great deal on how to handle them.

    People that pull sentry duty as an extra duty, deserve the benefit of practical training that is relevant and useful.

    This sounds a little cold, but unfortunately it is a reality, sometimes the best a sentry can be expected to do is sound the alarm. That is actually part of the security strategy in posting sentries, they aren't really expected to eliminate every threat that comes their way, but to sound the alarm.

    The Mahan incident sounds like a strange one, a truck driver making a delivery goes nuts and takes a sentry's weapon. The motivation behind that could be almost anything.

    It will be interesting to read exactly what precipitated this incident.

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    Senior Member Rusty Jones's Avatar
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    Re: Official: Mahan Sailor Shot Intruder

    Quote Originally Posted by Absinthe Anecdote View Post
    Active shooter scenarios are hard to train the general workforce for.

    Most police departments and security forces train a great deal on how to handle them.

    People that pull sentry duty as an extra duty, deserve the benefit of practical training that is relevant and useful.

    This sounds a little cold, but unfortunately it is a reality, sometimes the best a sentry can be expected to do is sound the alarm. That is actually part of the security strategy in posting sentries, they aren't really expected to eliminate every threat that comes their way, but to sound the alarm.

    The Mahan incident sounds like a strange one, a truck driver making a delivery goes nuts and takes a sentry's weapon. The motivation behind that could be almost anything.

    It will be interesting to read exactly what precipitated this incident.
    Not in the case of shipboard force protection. The ONLY two armed watchstanders on the ship who are tasked with sounding alarms are the Officer Of the Deck (OOD) and the Petty Officer Of the Watch (POOW). And the ONLY alarms they're sounding is for OTHER people on the ship who do it as an "extra duty."

    Although it's not said, it's generally understood: just like every shipboard Sailor is a firefighter, every shipboard Sailor is part the ship's security force. The buck stops with the crew of the ship.

    In the case of the other watchstanders - in particular, the topside rover(s) and the internal rover (if the ship stands) - their SOLE PURPOSE is to watch for threats and neutralize them. Nothing else.
    "Well... Uber's going to "driverless" cars soon, and their research probably shows that they're a natural fit (when it comes to getting paid for doing nothing)."
    -Rainmaker, referencing black males

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    Senior Member BURAWSKI's Avatar
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    Re: Official: Mahan Sailor Shot Intruder

    It seems to me that being in a stateside secure facility the mindset is a little different than what would be if you were on deployment say either in Afghanistan or Iraq or some place like that. I agree that the buck stops with the crew of the ship on duty or whoever is present at the time in order to eliminate the threat. It just seems that in the past these types of threats were not really expected to take place inside a base but now it appears the world has changed to the point that even our stateside bases are becoming active targets for terrorists (either domestic or international). Of course in overseas bases the understanding was that force protection had to be more stringent.

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    Senior Member efmbman's Avatar
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    Re: Official: Mahan Sailor Shot Intruder

    Quote Originally Posted by Rusty Jones View Post
    I've wondered this for a while myself. The Marine Corps has MCMAP, the Army has Army Combatives... so why doesn't the Navy have anything similar?
    to take it a step further... why isn't there a DoD-wide standard for this? Should each service have a different flavor of the same basic principle?
    When things go wrong in your command, start searching for the reason in increasingly larger concentric circles around your own desk.
    -GEN Bruce C. Clarke

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    Senior Member Rusty Jones's Avatar
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    Re: Official: Mahan Sailor Shot Intruder

    Quote Originally Posted by efmbman View Post
    to take it a step further... why isn't there a DoD-wide standard for this? Should each service have a different flavor of the same basic principle?
    Because I don't think this is likely to happen. And I'm not trying to take a shot at the Marine Corps when I say this; I'm just saying that this is the way it is: the Marine Corps has established a track record of wanting to "trademark" things and hold a monopoly over them, even though it may benefit the other services.

    There's no doubt in my mind that the Army had to develop its own combatives, and would have adopted MCMAP were this not the case.

    When it comes to helping all services win the the war, the Army appears to be the most altruistic service and is more than eager to share what they have. I think that the Navy and Air Force can simply adopt Army Combatives.
    "Well... Uber's going to "driverless" cars soon, and their research probably shows that they're a natural fit (when it comes to getting paid for doing nothing)."
    -Rainmaker, referencing black males

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