Patrol Ships, Naval Academy Conduct Boarding Training

Thursday, January 18, 2007
A Visit, Board, Search and Seizure (VBSS) Sailor assigned to coastal patrol ship USS Hurricane (PC 3) conducts an initial security sweep aboard Yard Patrol Craft 681 (YP 681) while his shipmates board the vessel. YP 681 acted as a non-compliant vessel as part of Hurricane's Advanced Phase Training Exercise, designed to prepare the crew for upcoming deployments. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Christopher Lussier

Sailors and assets from the U.S. Naval Academy provided a unique training opportunity Jan. 10 and 17 for the crews of USS Thunderbolt (PC 12) and USS Hurricane (PC 3) in the Chesapeake Bay. The exercises were part of Thunderbolt and Hurricane's theater-tailored Advanced Phase Training Exercise, designed to prepare the crews for upcoming deployments.

Patrol Coastal (PC) ships are responsible for conducting Maritime Security Operations to include Maritime Interdiction Operations, as well as visit, board, search and seizures (VBSS) to prevent smuggling, piracy and human trafficking. The trip to Annapolis afforded the PC crews experience navigating in unfamiliar waters, establishing security measures in an unfamiliar port, and conducting actual VBSS operations using the Naval Academy's yard patrol (YP) craft as exercise suspect vessels. "The YP gave our VBSS teams an opportunity to actually experience what it's like to hook and pull a vessel that is underway and exposed to all of the elements," said Thunderbolt Commanding Officer Lt. Scott W. Larson. "We were able to board a real vessel that was moving on water and in conditions that were not ideal," said Lt. j.g. Steve Phillabaum, Thunderbolt’s operations officer. "We are used to practicing on a training platform where weather conditions were non-existent. But here we did it out in the cold just after early morning." The experience was equally beneficial to the Naval Academy Sailors. "Participating with the crew of the PCs is valuable because the junior Sailors aboard the YP's often have no prior deployments or exposure to shipboard operations, and this gives them a taste of actual boarding and underway operations," said Senior Chief Quartermaster (SW) Herbert Kelton of YP Operations. "Training also reconnects and strengthens our relationship with the fleet."

While deployed, the PC crews will be responsible for protecting the waters around oil terminals in the Northern Persian Gulf. This mission is critical because oil revenue from the terminals helps to support fiscal stability in Iraq. "These oil terminals are considered critical economic infrastructure, and one of our primary roles is to conduct security patrols around those oil platforms to protect them from terrorist attacks," said Larson. "Every oil tanker that comes into port has to be swept." The mission must be handled with diplomacy, because many of the ships Larson's Sailors inspect represent the livelihood of the Iraqi people. "We have to remember that the majority of the vessels that we board are merchant vessels, and time is money for them, so we must operate professionally and proficiently," Larson said. Because VBSS is both dangerous and critical to Operation Iraqi Freedom and the broader Global War on Terrorism, the Sailors who volunteer to be VBSS team members undergo a rigorous three-week training program taught by former Navy SEALs (Sea, Air, Land).

Sailors learn proper search techniques, room clearing procedures, close-quarters combat, tactical shooting and various self-defense and survival techniques. On ships such as Thunderbolt and Hurricane, the mission demands Sailors be versatile. With an average crew size of 28, Larson said patrol craft Sailors must be self-motivated hard-chargers. "The crew members wear multiple hats," Larson explained. "I have an (Information Systems Technician) who is also one of my underway officers of the deck. I have a (Damage Controlman) who is also my search and rescue swimmer, and an (Electronics Technician) who also serves as an emergency medical technician; so it is very gratifying for me to see the selflessness that these guys possess." The training assets provided by U.S. Naval Academy Sailors highlight the academy's diverse role in supporting the Global War on Terror. The Academy not only develops future Navy and Marine Corps officers morally, mentally and physically, but also actively supports fleet training and strengthens the U.S. Navy's combat capabilities.

By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Christopher A. Lussier, U.S. Naval Academy Public Affairs source: NavNews

Maritime Reporter July 2014 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Contracts

Transocean Fleet Update Summary

Transocean Ltd. today issued a monthly fleet update summary which includes new contracts, changes to existing contracts and changes in estimated planned out-of-service

Ecuador Coastguard Orders Damen Patrol Boats

Damen announced it has recently signed a contract with AstillerosNavalesEcuatorianos (Astinave) to construct two Damen Stan Patrols (Spa) 5009 for the Ecuadorian Coastguard.

LNG America Selects Topside Designer for LNG Bunker Barge

LNG America has selected Taylor-Wharton to commence the front-end engineering and design work for the cryogenic topside of the company’s 3,000 cubic meter Gemini

Education/Training

Drum Cussac Trains O&G Supply Entrepreneurs

Drum Cussac said it is helping Tanzania's budding entrepreneurs cater to the requirements of the international oil and gas companies operating in the country, as

VSTEP Delivers FMB Simulator to Danaos

Danaos Corporation purchased a NAUTIS DNV Class A FMB Simulator and Instructor Station for training of its fleet members.  The simulator will be delivered and installed

Maersk Drilling Rig Team Train Local Talent

Maersk Drilling says that its 'Mærsk Deliverer' rig team has initiated seven local acceleration programmes in Angola. The goal is to train and develop local talent

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Offshore Oil Pipelines Pod Propulsion Ship Electronics Ship Repair Ship Simulators Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Sonar Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | terms and conditions | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.1400 sec (7 req/sec)