Sufficiency of Navy Handgun Training for Force Protection Watchstanders   [open pdf - 815KB]

From the Thesis Abstract: "Military training recently has come under review in the face of numerous service member non-combat deaths. Many of these incidents have catalyzed major changes in procedure and training, but in response to the lesser known USS Mahan shooting incident, the naval small arms training program was not scrutinized. Therefore, this thesis will investigate the following research question: Does Navy handgun training bestow the acquisition, retention, and proficiency of small arms skills necessary to counter real-world threats? This thesis analyzes the sufficiency of the naval small arms training program as written in OPNAVINST 3591.1F. Sufficient conditions for small arms training are developed through a review of quantitative research findings conducted on motor skill acquisition, retention, and proficiency. Based on these sufficient conditions, the naval small arms training program is insufficient to produce watchstanders able to counter real-world threats. In particular, it does not contain a formalized standard operating procedure for instruction, a training timeline, mandatory practice during skill acquisition, or mandatory practice during the one-year training cycle. Most importantly, the training lacks the verisimilitude necessary to prepare force protection watchstanders for the real-world shooting environment, to include the psychological stress of an actual engagement."

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Naval Postgraduate School, Dudley Knox Library: https://calhoun.nps.edu/
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