The boarding mission runs deep in U.S. Navy tradition; on today’s seas, that mission can’t afford to be a collateral one—we need to raise boarding teams to a higher standard.
A captain once told us, “There are two missions a ship is guaranteed to do on deployment: force protection and visit, board, search, and seizure.” He was right. Among the surface Navy’s most useful—and most used—capabilities are its teams of professionals trained to board ships on the high seas. The fighting tradition of the Navy is steeped in the valor of sailors boarding enemy ships—a mission that dates back to the Age of Sail. But why look to these naval actions today?