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Merchant Marine Ship Trainer (VBSS Trainer)

A maritime interdiction training site provides facilities to train individuals (Coast Guard, Navy, and Marine Corps) in Visit, Board, Search and Seizure (VBSS) techniques under realistic conditions. The facilities replicate the types of ships, conditions, and scenarios encountered in drug interdiction, force protection, and anti-terrorist operations.

The VBSS Trainer features multiple levels, numerous decks, hatches, ladders, and eight separate areas with numerous compartments: a bridge, Captain’s quarters, communications room, galley, mess, crew berthing area, engine room, engineering spaces, and cargo holds.

The rappel/fastrope tower is co-located with the VBSS Trainer, with a UH-1H, “Huey”, helicopter body to enable ship boarding from a helicopter, which can “hover” above the deck.

The tower and helicopter are lighted for night training. Special effects and features include:

  • hidden compartments
  • flooding of lower decks from hidden scuttle valves
  • non-toxic “movie” smoke
  • lighting effect
  • operating diesel engine