The Navy is often tasked with the job of boarding suspicious vessels that could be hiding smugglers, terrorists and insurgents, or trafficking drugs.The Navy is often tasked with the job of boarding suspicious vessels that could be hiding smugglers, terrorists and insurgents, or trafficking drugs. As such, they have to be trained in how to conduct search and seizure procedures, and there is a new training program designed by the Navy to do just that. The Support Naval Norfolk Annex in Chesapeake, Virginia has started a pilot program that will train Navy personnel in Search and Seizure procedures. The new program is called the Non-Compliant Boarding Visit, Search and Seizure program. With the new NCB VSS course the Navy seamen and sailors are able to train with in depth and comprehensive training materials, which will support their ongoing maritime boarding missions.
Many things have changed over the years, shipping has entered a modern age, and the equipment, personnel and technology is all-different on the high seas today than you would find during the past. The Navy was worked diligently to focus and design the VSS course to address the changes and make the overall Navy fleet responsive to the changes in the world today. The VSS course teaches teams of vessel inspection agents how to properly board and search vessels.
The Teams of VSS search officers are being tasked to board vessels that are suspicious in nature and are suspected of harboring illegal aliens, hiding or harboring terrorists, or suspected of other illegal activity. The course offered in the past was two weeks long, and didn’t cover the issues nearly as well or as in depth. In the past, if the vessel appeared to be hostile or non-compliant then Navy special operations forces or SEAL team members were called in to do the job.
The course of study at the new revised VSS School is eight weeks in length, and trains personnel how to get control of a ship that turns hostile toward the boarding party after they come on board the vessel. It is invaluable and gives the boarding personnel necessary skills to safeguard lives, as well as making sure than no property or equipment is put into jeopardy needlessly. The VSS program are not designed to deal with ships that are obviously hostile and refusing to be boarded, but sometimes ships that look and act friendly turn on the boarding party after they come aboard. In that situation it is important to know how to board a vessel without having lives in danger.