One of the jobs that the US Navy has on the high seas is vessel inspection and search. The Navy acts as the policemen on the high seas, with the job of boarding vessels and examining ships for insurgents, terrorists, and smugglers. They receive training in how to conduct seizure and search procedures, and there has been established a brand new training program for the Navy to train their personnel more effectively. The Norfolk US Naval Supply and Support Annex in Chesapeake, Virginia has created a Navy personnel pilot program to aid in seizure and search procedures. The new program is called the Non-Compliant Boarding Visit, Search and Seizure program. The new course is designed to provide specific training for sailors and Navy Seamen to train and detail training manuals in a comprehensive manner.
There are many different issues involved in Search and Seizure in the United States Navy, and shipping has entered a modern age, and the equipment, personnel and technology is all different on the high seas today than you would find during the past. The Navy VSS course works diligently to provide training and teams of vessel inspection agents how to properly board and search vessels. It is invaluable and gives the boarding personnel necessary skills to safeguard lives, as well as making sure than no property or equipment is put into jeopardy needlessly. The course offered in the past was two weeks long, and didn’t cover the issues nearly as well or as in depth. In the past, if the vessel appeared to be hostile or non-compliant then Navy special operations forces or SEAL team members were called in to do the job. The Teams of VSS search officers are being tasked to board vessels that are suspicious in nature and are suspected of harboring illegal aliens, hiding or harboring terrorists, or suspected of other illegal activity.
The course of study at the new revised VSS School is eight weeks in length, and trains personnel how to get control of a ship that turns hostile toward the boarding party after they come on board the vessel. The VSS program are not designed to deal with ships that are obviously hostile and refusing to be boarded, but sometimes ships that look and act friendly turn on the boarding party after they come aboard. In that situation it is important to know how to board a vessel without having lives in danger.