ARLINGTON, Va. — Sailors going downrange as individual augmentees soon will have more time to learn how to move and shoot, administer first aid and learn convoy operations, Navy officials said.

Currently, about 5,000 individual augmentees are in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to the Navy.

The individual augmentees primarily fill combat support and related billets, but some go outside the wire for convoy operations, said Capt. James McGinley.

Since most sailors do not have small-arms training, individual augmentees go through training at Fort Jackson to learn basic combat skills, said McGinley, director of Navy IA combat curriculum.

Beginning Oct. 14, that training will be extended from 12 to 17 days, he said.

The individual augmentees will get much more weapons training, with the average sailor expected to fire more than 880 rounds in training, compared with 250 in the current curriculum, McGinley said.

The amount of time individual augmentees training for convoy operations will increase from an average of between two to three hours to 10 to 12 hours per student, said Lt. Brian Simpson.

Individual augmentees also will get between six and seven hours of first aid training, up from three to four hours, said Simpson, Center for Security Forces assistant program manager for expeditionary warfare.

The training is meant to ensure that the sailors have the skills they need if they are caught in combat, not to turn them into infantrymen, McGinley said.

“I’m imparting life-saving combat skills to them so they know how to shoot their weapon,” he said.

Sign Up for Daily Headlines

Sign-up to receive a daily email of today’s top military news stories from Stars and Stripes and top news outlets from around the world.

Sign up