AUGUST 15, 2017, CHESAPEAKE, Va. (NNS) – The Center for Security Forces Announces Changes to the Navy’s Non-Compliant Boarding Visit, Board, Search, and Seizure (VBSS) Course, Aug 14.
The mission of VBSS is a vital component of the nation’s maritime strategy. U.S. Navy Boarding teams are comprised of an all-volunteer force. These men and women receive specialized training that prepares them to execute the VBSS mission around the world. As the nation’s maritime strategy adjusts to changing conditions and emerging threats, so must the training elements that support it.
“There has not been an update to this training since 2008,” said Bill Goodnoh, the Course Content Model Manger, who manages the training curriculum for the VBSS course. “A lot of the old course material applies to the VBSS Boarding Officer course. In addition, many of the tactics and tactical communications carry over from our Security Reaction Forces – Advanced course. By removing these elements, the new course gets right into practical hands-on training with minimal classroom time needed.”
The most significant change to the course includes inserting nearly a full day dedicated to small arms dry fire training using the small arms weapons simulator to improve weapons handling mastery. Students use the M9 service pistol and the M4 service rifle to practice remedial actions in order to hone those skills for real time application.
Students perform a series of drills under the direction of a qualified instructor. The instructor analyzes the shooting form and technique of students as they progress through each training evolution. Students will hone their skills in tactical shooting, weapon transitions, remedial actions for a malfunctioning weapon, and more.
“Even a compliant boarding has the potential to become a non-compliant or hostile situation,” said Goodnoh. “This is why we train and prepare our Sailors for the worst because what weighs in the balance of knowing how to respond and not knowing is life and death.”
Another addition to the VBSS training is expanded combat first aid training. The need for Sailors to apply combat first aid is similar to needing to know immediate actions to initiate damage control aboard ship where mere seconds can make the difference between life and death.
“The combat first aid portion of the course teaches Sailors how to prioritize care and utilization of the items found in the medical kits each boarding team member carries,” said Goodnoh. “However, these medical skills can deteriorate if this course is the only time these skills are practiced. Sailors need to refresh and practice these skills regularly in order to achieve the optimum outcome should they be called into use.”
The Center for Security Forces provides specialized training to more than 23,000 students each year. It has 14 training locations spread across the United States and around the world where training breeds confidence.
By Gunner’s Mate 2nd Class Emily Rimer, Center for Security Forces Public Affairs