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Gunston Hall Trains with Coast Guard

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS071007-05
Release Date: 10/7/2007 11:44:00 AM

By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Tristan Miller, Kearsarge Strike Group Public Affairs

INDIAN OCEAN (NNS) -- Amphibious dock landing ship USS Gunston Hall’s (LSD 44) visit, board, search and seizure (VBSS) team trained with a U.S. Coast Guard Tactical Law Enforcement Detachment while underway in the Indian Ocean, Sept. 26-28.

The Coast Guard team’s mission is to ensure VBSS teams and other Coast Guard units are proficient and develop skillful tactical approaches when boarding foreign vessels.

“Communication and teamwork are vital for a successful operation,” said U.S. Coast Guard Boatswain’s Mate 2nd Class Justin Young. “We train teams to protect themselves and react to any threat they may encounter.”

The training program provided the VBSS team with an opportunity to experiment with different boarding techniques that are currently used by Coast Guard boarding teams. The Coast Guard team evaluated and critiqued VBSS team members on all aspects from movements, suspect handling, room clearing and tactical shooting.

“This is just great training for the team and will definitely improve our efficiency as a team,” said Ensign John Moore, Gunston Hall’s VBSS officer.

Running through the evolutions provided a chance for the team to work from small two-man elements up to eight-man squads in real time with focus on tactical shooting and weapons awareness.

“This is just what we needed to keep our tactical moving sharp and help us hone our skills,” said Electrician’s Mate (SW) 2nd Class Luke Koll, VBSS team member.

VBSS teams are a sophisticated effort actively detecting, denying and deterring International Terrorist Organizations, weapons smugglers and human traffickers in maritime interdiction operations.

Gunston Hall is currently on a regularly scheduled deployment as part of the Kearsarge Strike Group conducting Maritime Security Operations (MSO).

MSO help set the conditions for security and stability in the maritime environment and complement the countermeasure and security efforts in regional nation’s littoral waters. Coalition forces also conduct MSO under international maritime conventions to ensure security and safety in international waters so that commercial shipping and fishing can occur safely in the region.

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