Spanish Navy Conducts VBSS on a Merchant Vessel

Spanish Navy’s auxiliary oiler and replenishment (AOR) ship Cantabria, a part of NATO’s counter-terrorist operation Active Endeavor, has conducted a VBSS (Visit, Board, Search and Seizure) operation against a merchant vessel, allegedly involved in illegal arms trafficking and terrorist-related activities.

During the operation the ship was ordered to action stations to attain the highest level of alert readiness. The ship’s SH-60 helicopter took off to provide air support and protection to the VBSS squad made up of Spanish marines.

Cantabria received an order to track the merchant vessel for a subsequent boarding and search in international waters. The crew fulfilled all legal and operational procedures including the captain’s consent for the boarding and search of his ship.

Image: Spanish Navy