The U.S. Coast Guard hosted naval forces from the Arab Republic of Egypt and Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan for a visit, board, search and seizure (VBSS) exercise onboard Naval Support Activity Bahrain, March 12-23.
Per the USCG Maritime Engagement Team (MET) syllabus, the engagement “is designed to share a variety of practical scenarios concentrating on boarding procedures, defensive tactics, boarding team communications, maritime tactical egress tactics and procedures, judgmental use of force, decision-making, and tactical combat casualty care.”
Originally established as the Middle East Training Team in 2005, the MET has grown and evolved to respond to an ever-changing VBSS mission landscape. The MET provides U.S. Central Command partner nation forces with the tools they need to support coalition partners.
“PATFORSWA (Patrol Force Southwest Asia) annually participates in over 70 maritime exercises and engagements. VBSS engagements like this two-week maritime boarding operations exercise between the U.S. Coast Guard, Royal Jordanian and Egyptian navies are crucial to strengthening our partnerships and building mutual maritime capabilities,” said Cmdr. Alain Balmaceda, deputy commander of PATFORSWA. “Through these types of engagements, we are better able to work with each other to ensure maritime security and the free flow of commerce in the region.”
“We sincerely enjoyed sharing knowledge and experiences with our Jordanian and Egyptian counterparts during this two-week engagement,” said U.S. Coast Guard Maritime Enforcement Specialist 2nd Class Michael Deane. “As part of the MET, I am fortunate to be an integral part of our mission in strengthening regional partnerships and increasing tactical proficiency in VBSS operations.”