SAN DIEGO - Sailors assigned to the guided-missile destroyer USS Preble (DDG 88) conducted small arms qualification training at the Naval Air Station North Island small arms range in San Diego, Sept. 4.
New arrivals and many of the existing crew assigned to Preble participated in the Navy Handgun Qualification Course (NHQC) and Practical Weapons Course (PWC) to prepare for their upcoming deployment.
The Sailors spent the day training using the M9 service pistol and M500 Mossberg shotgun during the NHQC. The crew members were required to demonstrate safe weapons handling and firing techniques from various distances and firing positions, allowing them to get the feel of live-fire.
The course is also designed to enhance the new Sailors' confidence in their shipboard watchstanding duties. Successful completion of the one-day course awards Sailors the qualifications needed to carry out various shipboard watchstanding duties that are vital to the ship's safety and mission.
"The first time I ever shot a gun it was more powerful than I thought it would be," said Seaman Joshua Fahrenkrug. "It makes me feel that I'm able to do more for the ship to make sure it's safe."
According to Ship's Serviceman 1st Class Timothy Davis the course is required to stand shipboard watches such as quarterdeck watch, officer of the deck, petty officer of the watch and entry control point watches.
Taking their new skills to sea on their next deployment and ensuring the ship's safety will be the new task after today's training.
"You are going to be in foreign ports so you have to be able to execute well in intense situations," said Information System Technician 2nd Class Richard Hayman. "It's to make sure we're ready just in case something goes down."