USS Pearl Harbor sailors complete VBSS drill

USS Pearl Harbor (LSD 52) sailors board a training vessel during a VBSS drill. Photo: US Navy

Taking part in America Amphibious Ready Group’s composite training unit exercise (COMPTUEX), US Navy sailors aboard amphibious dock landing ship USS Pearl Harbor (LSD 52) completed a visit, board, search and seizure (VBSS) training exercise on May 3.

The training scenario gauges the VBSS team’s ability to board a foreign vessel and ensures that the team will be ready as real-life scenarios and situations arise.

“This type of training is always important, because it keeps us alert and reminds us that in a real life scenario, we need to always be ready,” said Ensign Barret Goman, the boarding officer for Pearl Harbor’s VBSS team.

During the exercise, the VBSS team boarded a role-playing vessel and confronted personnel who played the role of potentially dangerous foreign sailors.

“The most important thing we learned during this exercise was how to maneuver on a foreign ship and how to work as a team to clear the vessel,” said Electronics Technician 3rd Class Ian Orsinger, a member on the VBSS team. “We have to know what to do in every situation and we have to be able to determine if the ship is compliant and non-threatening.”

The America Amphibious Ready Group (ARG), which consists of Pearl Harbor, the amphibious transport dock USS San Diego (LPD 22) and amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA 6) is currently underway conducting a composite training unit exercise off the coast of Southern California, in preparation for the ARG’s upcoming deployment later this year. The exercise is designed to bring every part of an ARG together to work effectively and efficiently as one cohesive unit, ensuring overall readiness for deployment.

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