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VA – MILITARY – “I can do anything.” From weapons handling to training military K9s, women play key role in securing JEB Little Creek

JOINT EXPEDITIONARY BASE LITTLE CREEK-FORT STORY, Va. – Inside the Security building at JEB Little Creek-Fort Story sits a small, tightly secured room. The Ready For Issue room the home of the guns and ammo for the U.S. Navy Security Forces on base.

The only window to the outside is a caged door with a small space for MA2 Ashli Jurado to accept IDs and verify that the servicemen and women who have come to pick up weapons are qualified to handle them. She then leaves the room to watch as the service members on the Security team load their weapons. “It’s super important,” said MA2 Jurado, the Lead Petty Officer overseeing the Ready For Issue room and the contents inside. “We have a lot of weapons that we’re accountable for so everything we do is slow and steady. Accountability is our number one goal here.”

Another part of Jurado’s accountability? Making sure the weapons she’s giving out are functional, “so if anything were to happen, we would be ready.” It’s a job Jurado’s spent years training for, starting with an early love of weapons handling. She’s been in her current position for six months. Her next big task is training the security team to use M18 pistols that will be arriving to replace the long-used M9s; a huge effort and Jurado is more than capable. She’s spent her life battling perceptions and she says anytime she needs inspiration, she thinks of her younger sisters. “I’ve been in many positions where people are, ‘Oh, she’s small. Oh, she’s a woman.’ Luckily, not here (on base),” she said. “I can do anything.”

On the other side of the building, MA1 Kylee Demagall is three months into her job as Kennel Master where she’s responsible for training the base’s four-legged service members and their two-legged handlers.  [full article]

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