The United States Coast guard Patrol Forces Southwest Asia (PATFORSWA) has a team of consummate professionals that provide subject matter expert exchanges (SMEEs) focused on Visit, Board, Search and Seizure (VBSS) tactics to armed forces and agencies throughout the Central Command (CENTCOM) area of responsibility. This group, known as the Maritime Engagement Team (MET), touts a facility that has a nearly 3000 sq. ft (300 sq. meter) “Ship-in-a-Box”, a 36ft (10-meter) Fishing Dhow, and a climate controlled classroom.
Within these facilities, the MET shares their expertise in VBSS, including Boarding Procedures, Defensive Tactics, Boarding team Communications, Close Quarter Combat tactics and procedures, Judgmental Use of force decision making and providing Tactical Combat Casualty Care. The MET also provides focused Counter Narcotics and VBSS Workups for Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) to fine tune VBSS teams operating within the CENTCOM area of responsibility. These subject matter expert exchanges are all in addition to the routine operational training that is provided to the six Island Class Cutters also stationed within the CENTCOM area of responsibility.
Recently, Her Majesty’s Austrailian Ship (HMAS) NEWCASTLE and the USS MCFAUL (DDG-74) each carried out workups to prepare for upcoming operations. The VBSS team for the HMAS NEWCASTLE carried out a three-day curriculum focused on honing their counter-narcotic techniques. While the VBSS teams from the MCFAUL completed a one-day VBSS curriculum, focused on Compliant and Non-Compliant Boarding tactics.
Supervisor for the MET, Lieutenant Heidi Bevis, couldn’t speak more highly of the HMAS NEWCASTLE VBSS team. “We may have to include their mock case package as an example for future work-ups. But even more impressive was watching the team use those same skills out on the water.”
“The teams from the USS MCFAUL were fantastic to work with and clearly professionals. After a few runs in our Ship-in-a-Box, there was no doubt these teams were in synch with their boarding procedures” said Chief Petty Officer Matt Peeples, Team Lead for the MET. “We can’t wait to have both the HMAS NEWCASTLE and USS MCFAUL back!”
The U.S. Coast Guard is a military, maritime, multi-mission service within the
Department of Homeland Security dedicated to protecting the safety and security of America
Contact: LT Heidi Bevis, USCG Public Affairs Officer Patrol Forces Southwest Asia Kingdom of Bahrain Phone: 011-1785-4494