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USS Oak Hill Conducts Joint VBSS Training with Djiboutian Coast Guard

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS070214-19
Release Date: 2/14/2007 5:50:00 PM

By Mass Communication Specialists Seaman Nathan Bailey and Ensign Dan Rogers, Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command/ Commander, U.S. 5th Fleet Public Affairs

USS OAK HILL, At Sea (NNS) -- USS Oak Hill’s (LSD-51) visit, board, search and seizure (VBSS) team trained two Djiboutian coast guard officers Feb. 5-9 to support maritime security operations (MSO).

The training was conducted as part of Exercise Image Nautilus 2007.

MSO help set the conditions for security and stability in the maritime environment, as well as complement the counter-terrorism and security efforts of regional nations. These operations deny international terrorists use of the maritime environment as a venue for attack or to transport personnel, weapons or other material.

The training focused heavily on MSO and boarding skills, including close quarters battle, combat first aid, weapons handling, mission planning and execution.

“Djibouti has troubles with illegal immigration and illegal transport of contraband, so the training we received in tactics, mission planning and team management will allow us to gain better intelligence to protect our coastline,” said Djibouti senior coast guard and naval officer Ahmed Daher Djama.

Oak Hill’s boarding team also taught the Djiboutian officers detainee handling procedures such as skills in conducting a search, defensive tactics when handling noncompliant personnel, proper cuffing methods, and rappelling and ladder climbing.

The joint exercise culminated in a full-scale boarding exercise where Oak Hill acted as a noncompliant motor vessel to be boarded. This exercise gave the Djiboutian officers the opportunity to put their skills into practice in a comprehensive, real-time operation.

The Oak Hill is currently deployed as part of the USS Bataan (LHD 5) Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG), which is underway to conduct MSO in support of the ongoing rotation of forward-deployed forces.

Bataan ESG is commanded by Capt. Donna Looney, commander, Bataan Strike Group/Amphibious Squadron (PHIBRON) 2; and the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) based out of Camp Lejeune, N.C., is commanded by Col. Gregg Sturdevant. The strike group includes PHIBRON 2, Bataan, Oak Hill, USS Shreveport (LPD 12), USS Vella Gulf (CG 72), USS Nitze (DDG 94), USS Underwood (FFG 36) and USS Scranton (SSN 756).



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