Enhanced Naval Boarding Party Ready for Deployment

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Pacific Region News / April 1, 2015 / Project number: 04-01-MTOC

Katelyn Moores, MARPAC Public Affairs

After three months of intensive round-the-clock training, the first Maritime Tactical Operator Course (MTOC) graduated on March 26, 2015, and will go on to form Enhanced Naval Boarding Party (ENBP) Team 1.

The 13 graduates underwent extensive training in advanced tactics, including hand-to-hand combat, improvised explosive device identification, close quarters battle, tactical shooting and tactical questioning.

This graduation marks the delivery of an initial operating capability as directed by the first phase of the Future Naval Boarding Party Capability Development outline in the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) Executive Plan.

“In less than ten months we have successfully selected, trained and graduated our first class,” remarked LCdr Wil Lund, NBP 3.0 Project Officer in Charge. “This team is trained and equipped to provide a highly flexible capability that is a testament to the unpredictable and evolving nature of our missions.”

Although traditional Naval Boarding Parties are able to perform basic obstructed boardings, feedback from recent operational deployments, such as Operation Artemis, has emphasized the need for a Naval Boarding Party capable of meeting a new level of threat.

The ENBP capability will provide the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) and the RCN with the agility, flexibility and tactical expertise to confront and deter a variety of threats in high-risk operational environments.

“In terms of our partner allies, the Enhanced Naval Boarding Party is a unique capability,” said LCdr Lund. “We are building on our decades of operational boarding experience in order to fill the gap between what our special forces can do and what we need to do on our own as a navy.”

The team will be attach posted to HMCS Winnipeg and will participate in Exercise TRIDENT FURY, a biennial joint exercise with the U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard, in May. The exercise includes numerous boarding scenarios and will be a chance to evaluate how the team operates and integrates with the ship’s company.

The lessons learned and concepts developed through the ENBPs will help to move the program into its second phase, gradually evolving to the Advanced Naval Boarding Party (ANBP) capability over the next several years.

In the final phase, the ANBP team will be at full operational capability and will be able to conduct advanced obstructed boardings independently. The Esquimalt-based unit will be comprised of 70-100 members who will be posted to the unit on a three year assignment to one of four ANBPs.

The unit will also be used in a capacity building role, helping to train partner nations in naval boarding techniques and operations as part of the Government of Canada’s Global Engagement Strategy.

Following the “One Navy” construct, the team is actively recruiting across both Regular and Reserve Forces. The first ENBP team includes eight Regular Force members and five Naval Reservists – one of which is the leader of the team.

The next MTOC will occur in Halifax in August 2015. Candidates should be mature, physically fit, willing to learn and able to make logical split-second decisions while under high stress. Selected applicants will be put through a rigorous physical and mental five-day selection process at CFB Esquimalt in June 2015 before being invited to challenge the MTOC.

Interested RCN members should apply through their chain of command. The selection application process and forms are available on both the CFB Esquimalt and CFB Halifax BPSO websites.