SASEBO, Japan (NNS) -- The amphibious dock landing ship USS Germantown (LSD 42) completed a visit, board, search and seizure (VBSS) certification, Sept. 3.
The bi-annual certification, conducted by Afloat Training Group (ATG) Western Pacific, evaluated the VBSS team's ability to properly perform a search for contraband and illegal activity aboard suspect ships in scenarios showcasing both compliant and non-compliant personnel.
"The VBSS team did really well," said Electronics Technician 1st Class Michael Coredocaguin, a team leader assigned to ATG. "With what they have demonstrated I am confident that they are ready to conduct a real VBSS mission."
The VBSS team is required to complete a variety of qualification courses, including specialized training at the Center for Security Forces. The training consists of tactical team movements, boarding, climbing, rappelling techniques, weapons handling, and self-defense. As a prerequisite to becoming a VBSS team member, Sailors must have completed Ship's Reaction Force Basic (SRF B) and Advanced (SRF A) training.
"I've had a lot of fun being on the VBSS team," said Seaman Thomas Decesare, a member of Germantown's team. "I enjoy the fact that I get to be a part of something that most people, even in the Navy, don't get to do."
According to Germantown's Executive Officer Cmdr. Gary Harrington, this certification is one more success the ship has been working hard to achieve in preparation for patrol.
"The crew has been successfully certified in 11 major warfare areas since January, so I'm not surprised by the success of our VBSS team," said Harrington. "This all volunteer team worked hard to keep their skills sharp and was eager to demonstrate their proficiency during this certification event. I'm really proud of the crew and our many successes."
Germantown is forward-deployed and currently assigned to the Peleliu Amphibious Ready Group in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility.