HMS Defender’s boarding teams have taken advantage of the United States Coast Guard Training Facility in Bahrain this month.
HMS Defender’s Royal Marine Boarding Team (RMBT) and Royal Navy Boarding Team (RNBT) honed their skills with an intensive three day Board and Search training package with the US Coastguard (USCG).
The course was broken down into a number of major topics. One of which was the principle of ‘At Sea Space Accountability’. Instruction in this topic started with teaching on Volumetric Tank theory and common concealment techniques, before moving onto the full size training Dhow for scenario-based training.
The RMBT took full advantage of the ‘Ship In a Box’ facility to rehearse their Close Quarter Battle (CQB) drills utilising air soft rifles and paper targets. Lt Jack Richards RM said: “Having the opportunity to conduct collaborative UK/US CQB training within the JOA is of real and tangible benefit to the team. There is an enduring relationship between UK and USCG Boarding Teams”.
The United States Coast Guard Patrol Forces Southwest Asia (USCG PATFORSWA) Maritime Engagement Team Facility based in 5th Fleet Naval base is a bespoke training facility for operatives dealing with Visit Board Search and Seizure (VBSS) procedures. The facility is visited by nearly 2000 participants from over 33 nations annually. The partnerships that are built there enhance interoperability and cooperation.
Lt Heidi Bevis, the Future Operations Officer, who runs the facility, said: “The Royal Marines in particular allow the U.S. Coast Guard to practice tactics, techniques and procedures that not only strengthen our partnership, but improve upon each other’s capabilities so that in the instance that we must execute together, we are already one step ahead of our adversaries.”