Navy Dads

Visit, Board, Search, and Seizure


Visit, Board, Search, and Seizure

This is a group formed to show support for the Sailors and Marines serving on a VBSS team.

Members: 7
Latest Activity: Aug 12, 2017


(VBSS) is the term for maritime boarding actions and tactics, designed to capture enemy vessels, to combat terrorism, piracy and smuggling, and to conduct customs, safety and other inspections, as employed by modern navies, marine and maritime services, military and police forces.

United States Navy training begins with non-lethal-weapons (NLW) training and handling including withstanding OC (Oleoresin Capsicum) "pepper spray" and then moves on to Security Reaction Force-Basic (SRF-B), Security Reaction Force-Advanced (SRF-A), and VBSS. The initial training continuum includes three courses lasting a total of eight weeks, with some team members receiving additional follow-on training. Skills taught in the VBSS Close Quarters Battle (CQB) courses include tactical movement and shooting, defensive tactics, rappelling, searching, and other team skills. Some units, known as Helicopter Visit, Board, Search, and Siezure (HVBSS) teams have been trained to fast rope aboard vessels from helicopters.

Regular sailors in the Navy are eligible to serve aboard VBSS teams depending on the ship's command structure. The majority of US Naval ships that deploy VBSS teams are smaller ships such as guided missile destroyers, guided missile frigates, etc. VBSS teams are used to combat illegal narcotics and arms trafficking and piracy.

USN VBSS teams are generally armed with Mk 18 or M4 carbines as well as Mossberg 500 shotguns and Beretta M9 pistols. The body armor is generally of the kevlar, law enforcement type with ballistic plate inserts and a buoyant tactical vest that doubles as a life preserver.

Note: The article above was copied from Wikipedia (April 2010)

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Comment by NavyDads Co-Admin, Gary on March 26, 2015 at 11:39am

PACIFIC OCEAN (March 18, 2015) Quartermaster 3rd Class John Osis, from Boston, observes the USS Anchorage (LPD 23) prior to a visit, board search and seizure (VBSS) drill.

Comment by Paige on March 19, 2014 at 6:24pm

Hi Mike, I don't have direct answers to your questions, but I can share my knowledge based on my son's experience with VBSS training.  He attended school in San Diego, but it's been a few years, so things may have changed some since then.  As I recall, his training was 4-5 weeks long and they attended Monday through Friday for primarily full days.  Your son should be available to spend time with you in the evenings and on the weekends. 

Comment by Mike Neiner on March 18, 2014 at 7:09pm

Hello all! 

My son may be going to VBSS training in Hawaii.  Was hoping to get some info/clarification on what availability he will have to visit with us if we go out there to visit.  Does the course run 5 days a week?  Are the days potentially very long?  Is the likelihood high that his training will go into weekends?  I am retired Navy and know full well the potential for training courses to be very time intensive, was hoping for some real information along these lines.........

Thanks a bunch


ETCS(SS) Retired

Comment by NavyDads Co-Admin, Gary on January 27, 2014 at 7:25pm

PACIFIC OCEAN (Jan. 26, 2014) Members of the visit, board, search and seizure (VBSS) team assigned to the guided-missile destroyer USS O'Kane (DDG 77) approach the guided-missile destroyer USS Michael Murphy (DDG 112) while conducting VBSS training as part of exercise Koa Kai 14-1. A semiannual exercise that takes place in the waters surrounding the Hawaiian islands, Koa Kai is designed to prepare independent deployers in multiple warfare areas and provide training in a multi-ship environment. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Dustin W. Sisco)

Comment by Paige on August 27, 2013 at 3:03pm
Comment by NavyDads Co-Admin, Gary on August 20, 2013 at 12:38pm

USS Philippine Sea Completes Visit, Board, Search and Seizure...

ATLANTIC OCEAN (Aug. 13, 2013) Sailors assigned to the visit, board, search and seizure (VBSS) team aboard the guided-missile cruiser USS Philippine Sea (CG 58) ride a rigid hull inflatable boat (RHIB) during a training exercise. Philippine Sea is participating in the George H.W. Bush Group Sail to improve strike group interoperability and prepare for an upcoming deployment. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Brian Read Castillo/Released

Comment by NavyDads Co-Admin, Gary on August 19, 2013 at 1:38pm
Comment by NavyDads Co-Admin, Gary on May 26, 2013 at 1:13pm

Japanese Sailors Observe VBSS Training...

Story Number: NNS130522-22Release Date: 5/22/2013 3:34:00 PM
By Sonar Technician 1st Class Jeremy Sosh, Center for Security Forces Public Affairs

PEARL HARBOR, H.I. (NNS) -- Sailors from the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF) visited the Center for Security Forces (CENSECFOR) Detachment Pearl Harbor May 16, to see first-hand the tactics involved in Non-Compliant Boarding - Visit, Board, Search and Seizure (NCB-VBSS) training.

Sailors from JMSDF ships JS Atago (DDG-177), JS Hyuga (DDH-181), and JS Shimokita (LST-4002) received an orientation tour from Lt. Cmdr. Donovan Rivera, CENSECFOR Detachment Pearl Harbor officer in charge, and Chief Fire Controlman Kenneth Ryan, NCB-VBSS Course Supervisor.

NCB-VBSS emerged after the initial Gulf War between 1990 and 1991 as a measure to support continued maritime interception operations imposed by United Nations (UN) resolutions.

NCB-VBSS training encompasses skills such as tactical team movements, self-defense tactics, boarding tactics, climbing and rappelling techniques, and more. In addition to Hawaii, this challenging high-risk training is also available at locations based in California, Florida and Virginia.

Initially, JMSDF Sailors received an introduction to NCB-VBSS where Ryan explained the mission and the scope of duties involved with maritime interception operations. During the introduction, the group witnessed a live demonstration of NCB-VBSS tactics given by a team of CENSECFOR instructors. Among the demonstrations was the ladder climb, tactical communications and verbiage, tactical team movements, room clearing procedures, and detainee handling procedures.

The tour proceeded to a lab where Sailors learn defensive tactics to control subjects and use close-quarters combat techniques taught by instructors Brenton and Brandon Wolff.

"The defensive tactics we teach are not intended to make Sailors martial arts experts, [but rather] they are intended to give them the confidence in their own ability to take control of a violent situation and neutralize a threat without resorting to deadly force," said Brandon Wolff while describing the training to the visiting Sailors.

Gunner's Mate 1st Class Nicholas Bokan and Sonar Technician 1st Class George Kohn, both NCB-VBSS instructors, explained the different types of gear and weapons used by boarding teams.

Kohn described the flotation vests worn by VBSS members and the simunition weapons used in training. Simunition is a dyed detergent-filled round that simulates live fire ammunition designed to be fired through military training weapons. It allows students to the opportunity to conduct "force on force training" in a controlled, safe, and effective training environment.

"Familiarization with the gear we use is vitally important to our team members," said Bokan.
Following a brief facilities tour of the historic Hangar 54 on Ford Island, Rivera spoke to the visiting group emphasizing the importance of training and cooperation.

"This is the third consecutive year we have had the privilege of hosting our allies from Japan and we look forward to more opportunities in the future of providing this training," said Rivera.

Detachment Pearl Harbor is a component within the Center for Security Forces domain. The Center provides specialized training to more than 28,000 students each year and has 14 training locations across the U.S. and around the world.

Comment by NavyDads Co-Admin, Gary on March 16, 2013 at 9:37am

USS Gary, Embarked Coast Guardsmen, Seize a Ton of Cocaine Worth $81 Million

Story Number: NNS130314-12Release Date: 3/14/2013 By Ensign Ian McConnaughey, USS Gary Public Affairs.

USS GARY, At Sea (NNS) -- The Oliver Hazard Perry-class Frigate USS Gary (FFG-51) and embarked U.S. Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment Team (LEDET) recently seized more than 2,200 lbs of cocaine in the Eastern Pacific Ocean in support of the ongoing Operation Martillo.

The seizure is the largest made by Gary while operating in U.S, 4th Fleet area of operations and is worth an estimated street value of $81 Million.

"It was a complex operation involving a law enforcement boarding, boat and helicopter searches, precision driving, detainee handling, and multiple deck operations, but Gary's crew proved they were fully capable of handling it and scored a big win," said Gary's Navigator, Lieutenant Junior Grade Christian Gotcher.

"This was a great day for USS Gary. Everyone on board did their part in making this a successful interdiction. Each department helped in one way or another, from finding the suspect vessel to confiscating the contraband. The men and women of Gary will continue to work hard while we are assigned to Fourth Fleet and hopefully get a few more busts before we return to San Diego," said the ship's Executive Officer, Lt. Drew Greenlees.

Gary is homeported in San Diego, and is currently deployed to Central and South America in support of Operation Martillo and U.S. Fourth Fleet's mission, Southern Seas 2012.

Operation Martillo (Spanish for "hammer") is a U.S., European and Western Hemisphere partner nation effort targeting illicit trafficking routes in coastal waters along the Central American isthmus. U.S. military participation is being led by Joint Interagency Task Force (JIATF) South, a component of U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM).

"Overall coordination of counter-drug patrols and surveillance in the Eastern Pacific is done by the Joint Interagency Task Force, South (JIATF-S) a component of U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM), headquartered in Key West, Fla. U.S. maritime law enforcement and the interdiction phase of operations in the region occur under the tactical control of the 11th Coast Guard District headquartered in Alameda, Calif.

Operation Martillo is part of the U.S. government's coordinated regional security strategy in support of the White House strategy to combat transnational organized crime and the U.S. Central America Security Initiative."...

Comment by NavyDads Co-Admin, Gary on January 28, 2013 at 7:19pm

A visit, board, search and seizure team from the guided-missile destroyer USS Farragut (DDG 99) ride in a rigid hull inflatable boat during a training exercise. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class A.J. Jones/Released)


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