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Away the boarding party (VBSS and SWOs with guns); Marines, too!

Harrier Dude

Living the dream
And that is the "my trigger finger is my safety" attitude I was referring to. God forbid non-obtrusive and easily verified safety measures be instituted.
No, that's the attitude of a professional warfighter who knows how to handle a weapon. He also knows the value of realistic training.
 

ASR

Member
No, that's the attitude of a professional warfighter who knows how to handle a weapon. He also knows the value of realistic training.
Respectfully submit that if we're talking an operational unit that doesn't get issued blanks for training (and since we're talking about an exercise conducted by the crew of Ponce I think it's safe to say we are), then having a zip-tie in the chamber doesn't make it any less realistic than walking around with an empty weapon.

It's not always a trade-off between safety and realism.
 

Harrier Dude

Living the dream
Respectfully submit that if we're talking an operational unit that doesn't get issued blanks for training (and since we're talking about an exercise conducted by the crew of Ponce I think it's safe to say we are), then having a zip-tie in the chamber doesn't make it any less realistic than walking around with an empty weapon.

It's not always a trade-off between safety and realism.
I would counter that any unit that doesn't even have blanks to train with probably doesn't get enough value from their training to merit doing this mission to begin with.

Then again, if we are indeed talking about the Ponce, I would guess that their chances of doing a no-shit live fire VBSS are approximately zero anyway.

I would also say that the best training is as realistic as possible while preserving an acceptable safety margin.

In other words, training is ALWAYS a tradeoff between safety and realism.
 

BigRed389

Registered User
None
VBSS training consists of some initial schoolhouse training which is actually pretty good. It's run by mostly ex-NSW types, graded and timed shoot and move, some MOUT-town killhouse training, water survival training in the aviation water survival pool, and you usually end with a few runs on the same underway training assets NSW uses (ie configured like a real merchant, not USS GREYHULL)

Then it goes back to the Fleet to keep these guys current, and of course, it gets fucked up.
Unless things had a major turnaround in the past few years, as far as the Fleet is concerned, as long as they still run a Good PFA, swim 2nd class qual, and meet the same shooting standards as a Fleet FP watchstander, they're individually good to go.
Unit training, they're lucky to get maybe 3 actual practice boardings a month. Usually on your own ship. Maybe a couple more during COMPTUEX or other major exercises, but you usually "take credit" for those.

But it's because of expectations and complacency. All these guys do is hop on dhows, pretty much always compliant, pass out water, hats, gloves, and other geedunk, and look around. Beat cops, not SWAT.
 

Spekkio

He bowls overhand.
Do surface ships even have instructor qualified personnel available to keep people current?

In the Sub force there is no one trained in ship's force to keep guys current on in-port FP tactics and employment of intermediate weapons. The semi-annual gun shoot and 15 minute deadly force GMT certainly doesn't give me confidence that ETSN Smith is going to be able to keep the ship safe if the shit hits the fan in a foreign port, and he has no means to protect himself inbetween calling for help and deadly force.

I guess it's one of those things no one cares about until it's too late.
I would counter that any unit that doesn't even have blanks to train with probably doesn't get enough value from their training to merit doing this mission to begin with.
Precisely. But major commanders think it's a good idea to make it mandatory, anyway.
 

HAL Pilot

Well-Known Member
None
Contributor
^ Dude, haven't you been watching Last Resort. Them there submariners have enough body armor, weapons and training to capture and hold an island! Protecting the boat is child's play.
 

BigRed389

Registered User
None
Do surface ships even have instructor qualified personnel available to keep people current?

In the Sub force there is no one trained in ship's force to keep guys current on in-port FP tactics and employment of intermediate weapons. The semi-annual gun shoot and 15 minute deadly force GMT certainly doesn't give me confidence that ETSN Smith is going to be able to keep the ship safe if the shit hits the fan in a foreign port, and he has no means to protect himself inbetween calling for help and deadly force.

I guess it's one of those things no one cares about until it's too late.
Precisely. But major commanders think it's a good idea to make it mandatory, anyway.
Ships have enough assigned instructors to maintain FP training requirements.

We're actually not as bad on FP. Not perfect, but not a shitshow either. We did several portcalls in places without US or allied presence and had to handle all our own FP.

But don't you guys always get "help" anytime you pull in anywhere? A single Mk43/8 topside isn't much of a deterrent.
 

Alpha_Echo_606

Does not play well with others!™
Contributor

121221-N-XQ375-130 U.S. 5TH FLEET AREA OF RESPONSIBILITY (Dec. 21, 2012) Sailors transit in a rigid-hull inflatable boat (RHIB) toward the guided-missile destroyer USS Jason Dunham (DDG 109) during a visit, board, search and seizure (VBSS) exercise. Jason Dunham is deployed with the John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility conducting maritime security operations, theater security cooperation efforts and support missions for Operation Enduring Freedom. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Deven B. King/Released)
 

Alpha_Echo_606

Does not play well with others!™
Contributor

121221-N-XQ375-484 U.S. 5TH FLEET AREA OF RESPONSIBILITY (Dec. 21, 2012) Sailors aboard the guided-missile destroyer USS Jason Dunham (DDG 109) signal to the air crew of an SH-60B Sea Hawk helicopter assigned to the Proud Warriors of Helicopter Anti-submarine Squadron Light (HSL) 42, Det. 7, to raise Logistics Specialist 2nd Class Cody Weaver off the flight deck with a rescue basket during a visit, board, search and seizure (VBSS) exercise. Jason Dunham is deployed with the John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility conducting maritime security operations, theater security cooperation efforts and support missions for Operation Enduring Freedom. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Deven B. King/Released)
 

Alpha_Echo_606

Does not play well with others!™
Contributor

121221-N-XQ375-374 U.S. 5TH FLEET AREA OF RESPONSIBILITY (Dec. 21, 2012) Fire Controlman 2nd Class Mark Hoggard fingerprints Cryptologic Technician (Collection) 3rd Class Nicole Roderick with a biometrics kit during a visit, board, search and seizure (VBSS) exercise aboard the guided-missile destroyer USS Jason Dunham (DDG 109). Jason Dunham is deployed with the John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility conducting maritime security operations, theater security cooperation efforts and support missions for Operation Enduring Freedom. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Deven B. King/Released)
 
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