USS Philippine Sea Successfully Completes VBSS

USS Philippine Sea Successfully Completes VBSS

The guided-missile cruiser USS Philippine Sea (CG 58) successfully completed the visit, board, search and seizure (VBSS) portion of its maritime interdiction operation (MIO) training requirement, Aug. 13.

The Philippine Sea worked in conjunction with the training support boat Mobile Sea Range (MSR) Hunter on two separate occasions simulating a VBSS operation with a merchant vessel.

“We were a little rusty on the first one,” said Lt. j.g. Kenna M. Vanourney, Philippine Sea’s gunnery ordnance officer. “For a lot of our team this was the first actual water boarding event they had done on a moving vessel.”

This was the Philippine Sea VBSS team’s first MIO event in over two years, said Vanourney.

“A lot of our team has rotated out since deployment and for a lot of the others this is the first water borne evolution ever,” said Vanourney. “We had to get re-oriented on what gear was most critical and best to use in certain situations, what each person’s role is and how to best utilize our personnel and their individual skills.”

The VBSS team successfully assessed the evolution and re-applied their new found experience in less than 24 hours.

“We took the lessons learned on the first day and immediately applied them to the next,” said Vanourney. “We re-did our kits, re-worked our communication and shared the load better. You don’t get to do VBSS operations too often so both evolutions were a great training experience for us.”

VBSS operations are used for maritime boarding actions and tactics making VBSS an integral part of MIO. VBSS operations are designed to capture enemy vessels, carry out counterterrorism missions, combat piracy and smuggling, and conduct customs and safety inspections.

“VBSS gives us the ability to perform many different missions making the Philippine Sea and her crew a more functional and effective part of the team as well as a key component of MIO,” said Lt. j.g. Robert R. Allen, Philippine Sea’s Navy liaison officer.

MIO are naval operations that seek to delay, disrupt, or destroy enemy forces or supplies before causing detriment to allied forces.

The Philippine Sea is participating in the George H.W. Bush Group Sail to improve strike group interoperability and prepare for an upcoming deployment.

Press Release, August 19, 2013; Image: US Navy