VBSS — Visit, Board, Search & Seizure

VBSS — Visit, Board, Search & Seizure

Complacency is what gets people hurt. This particular mission you have to go execute it. Not everybody succeeds. I know that if I turn this corner my teammate will be right there. Visit, Board, Search and Seizure is a mission area comprised of a team on board the ship that allows Sailors to do other work on board to come together… they go over on a small boat to a cargo ship and they can inspect it under a United Nations Security Council Resolutions to look for contraband or… … weapons that potentially could get in the enemy’s hands. And if you do find weapons, if you do find drugs that you’re not suspected of, first and foremost you integrate that from the rest of the ship and make sure they cannot be used against you. In addition we use the same teams to go fight piracy around the world, in areas when we’re called, if there was a ship under attack, we would go into the area and use this team to board them and detain them. The course is nineteen training days long. Male or Female Sailors can apply and volunteer for the program. We try to throw as much information at them as we can, ’cause that’s what a real boarding mission’s going to give them. It’s a lot of work. I mean they’re taking in a lot of information. It’s like trying to take a drink of water through a fire hose. They have to go through individual training… My instructors take them in and teach them all the fundamentals and tactics that they need. As a team they go through training to make sure that they work well together. And I always tell myself my teammates are there and they have my back. It’s a lot of trust of the team. We’re all here for one reason and that’s to get the training to go out there and do this stuff for real. Make the wrong decision in a training environment, we can correct on it, we can re-train and re-set… “And when we de-conflict, de-conflict with your non firing hand.” … gives them that much more experience so that when they get in country, they get in theater, that they’re gonna have the confidence to know what they have to do. It’s a really exciting mission to be a part of. You can imagine being out at sea, doing your regular job, and then when we get called into an anti-piracy mission, getting in the small boat, briefing what’s gonna happen, and then going out and taking care of it. It draws you out of your normal, everyday, seven day work week into, ok, what are we doing this week? Ok, we’re doing a boarding. We’re doing a help and comfort. Our mission is constantly changing. It’s important that our students are able to go out there and provide value. VBSS isn’t necessarily anti-piracy and anti-piracy only. We have a team that can go in and be a first responder. [ no voice over ] “Sir how you doin’ today? USA boarding team, we’re conducting a search on your vessel.” Global Force For Good ties into our role as a deterrent force. We’re able to stay on station. We’re able to go out on the seas, and our friends and allies are re-assured by our presence. It really speaks to the diversity that is paramount to all the operations we conduct all over the world and what really does separate the American Navy from all navies across the globe.


  1. so no matter what your rate is
    if your ship has a VBSS team you can join it?
    & does it affect your current rate duties?

  2. I ship off to boot in June. I don't wanna do special opps cuz i don't wanna jump off of planes (scared of heights lol) but I just found out about this today, and it's totally something I wanna do.

  3. It is open to any rates as far as I know, but the limiting factor is the amount of people that are on the team. I'm a PS and I'm currently going through the pipeline. It will affect your duties, in that you will have your normal responsibilities on top of VBSS.

  4. Any personnel who's assigned to a ship can apply, they are often in need of engineer ratings so for me as an engineer it was easy to get approval.

  5. @America's Navy  hey im going to be a PR and people say i might get placed on a carrier and being that they are carriers they wont have a V.B.S.S team.. but i want to be on one so bad. my question is, is there a way i can be on a V.B.S.S team with a rate like PR?

  6. Hooyah VBSS ( Vist Board Search and Seizure ) Teams!! It's handled by volunteer crew members aboard United States Navy Ticonderoga Class Aegis Guided Missile Cruisers, Arleigh Burke Class Aegis Guided Missile Destroyers, Zumwalt Class Aegis Guided Missile Destroyers, ( Formerly Spruance Class Destroyers, Kidd Class Guided Missile Destroyers, and Oliver Hazard Perry Class Guided Missile Frigates ), and Amphibious Assault Ship crews of Wasp Class LHDs ( Landing Helicopter Docks ), America Class LHAs ( Landing Helicopter Assaults ), formerly Tarawa Class LHAs, San Antonio Class LPDs ( Amphibious Transport Docks ), formerly Austin Class LPDs, Whidbey Island Class and Harpers Ferry Class LSDs ( Dock Landing Ships ), and also there are Helicopter VBSS teams that can come from any Helo capable ship including the Nimitz Class and Gerald R. Ford Class Nuclear Powered Aircraft Carriers, and formerly the Enterprise Class Nuclear Powered Aircraft Carrier USS. Enterprise CVN-65. They can also deploy from Freedom Class and Independence Class Littoral Combat Ships ( LCS ) too. They use the Ridged Hulled Inflatable Boats ( RHIBs ) but in the past used Boston Whaler Boats. The Helicopter VBSS teams use the Sikorsky MH-60S Knighthawk or MH-60R Seahawk Helicopters ( formerly Sikorsky HH-60H Seahawks ). The United States Marine Corps also does VBSS Operations and conducts them with Battalion Landing Team ( BLT ) Infantry Marines of an embarked Marine Expeditionary Unit-Special Operations Capable ( MEU-SOC ) from Amphibious Assault Ships and other ships in the form of the Marine Detachment ( ended in the 90s ). The United States Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command ( MARSOC ) Marine Raider Battalions ( Named in Honor of the original WW2 Marine Raiders ) and formerly called Force Reconnaissance Marines ( Force Recon ) also handle VBSS and Helicopter VBSS Missions from Amphibious Assault Ships ( Helo VBSS in Marines also includes Bell Helicopter UH-1Y Venom "Super Huey" Utility Helicopters ). The United States Navy SEAL Teams and Naval Special Boat Teams also conduct VBSS Missions from Ships and Special Operations Craft ( RHIBs and Mk.5 Special Operations Craft ) and other Maritime Security Operations. They can also clear captured Oil Rig Platforms and Offshore Oil and Gas Terminals too, like the 2003 Operation to capture the Al' Basrah Oil Terminal ( ABOT originally called MABOT ). The United States Coast Guard also conducts boarding with their Maritime Safety and Security Teams ( MSST ) and Maritime Law Enforcement Teams. The Continental Marines back Revolutionary War in 1775 started the modern day VBSS ( Boarding Teams ) that siezed British Royal Navy and Privateer ( Pirate ) Ships and Merchant Ships. Today Volunteer Navy VBSS Teams, Marine Raiders, Navy SEAL Teams, Naval Special Boat Teams, BLT Infantry Marines, and Coast Guard Teams all conduct boardings. This is an awesome thing to be a part of and I can say it's definitely a part of history too!! Hooyah Navy!!

  7. Anyone interested in what a United States Navy VBSS ( Visit Board Search and Seizure ) Team does, watch U.S. Navy Pirate Hunters on YouTube. It was show that was supposed to be a series show on Spike TV but only one Pilot show was made. It shows the crew of the United States Navy's Ticonderoga Class Aegis Guided Missile Cruiser USS. Gettysburg CG-64 from Naval Station Mayport, Florida and their VBSS Operations in the 5th Fleet.

  8. Do you have to be assigned to a ship to volunteer for this? Like say I was stationed in Norfolk as an MA and I wasn’t assigned to a ship could I still volunteer and get on a team?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *