The Navy is launching a new security billet for sailors E-5 (petty officer second class) and below to serve as base sentries for a three-year shore duty tour.

The new billet — installation security specialist, or 815A — aims to bolster base security and prevent unauthorized access by adding 120 sailors to security forces on Navy installations. Another 130 billets will open up in June, and more billets may become available later in the year if the program is successful, the Navy said.

Those filling these billets are expected to come primarily from sea-intensive ratings, according to the Navy. As of November 2022, there are 9,000 sea-duty gaps, or empty billets, within operational units in the Navy, the service previously told Navy Times.

Responsibilities for installation security specialists include managing entry and exit of vehicles and equipment on installations, inspecting vehicles, defending against intrusion by hostile individuals and patrolling property concentration areas.

“Sailors assigned to 815A duties will serve as sentries, protecting access to our installations and supplementing base law enforcement, which will still be primarily comprised of masters-at-arms,” said Ron Herb, Navy Installations Command’s director of force protection, in a news release. “This is a great opportunity for young Sailors who may be interested in exploring other career options in the Navy, such as force protection.”

The billet can pave the way for sailors to become masters-at-arms, the Navy’s military police force responsible for law enforcement, force protection and anti-terrorism.

Interested sailors are not expected to have prior law enforcement experience, according to the Navy. Once they are attached to their new shore duty station, they will receive comprehensive training for sentry duty, including law enforcement practices, self-defense and force protection.

The Navy did not respond by deadline to a request for comment from Navy Times on how the new billet will impact gaps at sea.

The move comes as the service has introduced measures aimed at eliminating gaps at sea. For example, the Navy rolled out the Detailing Marketplace Assignment Policy last year, which offers sailors in sea-intensive ratings at E-4 and below who complete a four-year apprentice sea tour up to $800 a month and other benefits if they agree to another three-year journeyman sea tour as an E-5.

Sailors interested in a applying for one of the 250 billets should consult their detailer for more information.

Commander, Navy Installations Command is responsible for worldwide U.S. Navy shore installation management, including the development and sustainment of shore infrastructure as well as quality of life programs. CNIC oversees 10 Navy regions, 70 bases and more than 43,000 employees who sustain the fleet, enable fighters and support families.

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