The U.S. Navy’s visit, board, search, and seizure (VBSS) teams do not get adequate time for training needed to effectively accomplish their high-risk mission. The Navy should create designated VBSS teams and attach the units to deploying ships as needed.
VBSS team members are selected from a small group of candidates on board a destroyer or cruiser. Only candidates who can meet the physical requirements are considered for the training pipeline, which includes advanced courses in weapons, swimming, and tactical operations. Team members serve primarily on board ships in a specific rating that accomplishes a given mission for that unit. Team members must attend to their everyday duties while attempting to complete all VBSS-related training, evaluation, and proficiency upkeep.1 The team members’ extensive training for their primary duty becomes the main focus for the chain of command, and rightfully so.