The Coast Guard is still using a lot of crew served weapons on their ships. I remember doing LE boardings where only a single .50 was manned because manning our 5″ was considered too much trouble. None of the 210s or smaller cutters have any protection for even their main armament gun crews, other than possibly small gun shields. The gun tubs that were once common on US warships no longer exist.
The theory seems to be that if we show up and are armed, the the bad guys will immediately surrender. While that might work in most cases, sooner or later someone may decide to fight. Certainly any suicidal terrorists would fight rather than surrender. If that happens, wouldn’t it be prudent to provide a little protection for the guys behind the mounts? In most cases it seems they are easy targets standing proudly behind their weapons in full view of anyone who might choose to shoot. There are simple things we can do to protect our gunners and make sure they can continue to provide effective fire if they bullets start flying in their direction.
Modular armored security shields capable of defeating a .50 cal. rounds, that can replace existing tripod mounts and can be tailored to the application are in the GSA system. Looks like a typical system for a .50 would weigh about 800-1000 pounds. I don’t think this could cost too much and it might mean the difference between success and failure for an important mission.