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Artillery Training School conducts Local Security Course

23 Mar 2009 | Lance Cpl. Skyler Tooker 1st Marine Division


Twenty-one students gathered at the Artillery Training School Mar. 23, for the first Local Security Course of the year.

Marines ranging from corporal to gunnery sergeant reported to ATS for the five-day Local Security Course.

Local security consists of many moving parts. Knowing how to set up the security with different surroundings in place, plus utilizing all the different weapons and equipment, is the local security chief’s job.

The Local Security Course gives all the necessary classes for the Marines to not only set up local security, but to give a detailed diagram of where everything is located, how it is going to work and the different fields-of-fire.

The course began with a machine gun characteristics and functions class, which covered rates of fire, maximum ranges and different types of ammunition for each machinegun.

The second class was weapons employment and considerations, which showed the Marines all the weapons they have at their disposal and how to use them in defensive situations.

The course continued with map reading and land navigation skills, explaining how the terrain plays a part in local security.

“The land navigation class played a big part in the next couple classes, which were planning a defense, conducting a defense and drawing defensive diagrams,” said Staff Sgt. Edward S. Finnegan, a student in the Local Security Course, 29, platoon sergeant from Chula Vista, Calif., Battery A, 1st Battalion, 11th Marines.

“You have to look at the terrain, so you can set up your fields-of-fire and implement that in the defensive diagram.”

The Marines also learned instruction during the course, including aiming circles, writing operation orders and patrolling.

“I have been doing local security for two years now, but these classes are good refresher,” said Finnegan. “The conduct of defense and patrolling classes were the biggest refreshers for me.”

The exam for the course was held on the fourth day of the course along with the graduation rehearsal, plus a few non-testable classes.

The retest, another graduation rehearsal and the actual graduation were conducted on the fifth and final day of the course.

“This was a good course that covered the basics to becoming a local security chief,” said Finnegan.

1st Marine Division