Naval Boarding Party

The Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) relies on various groups and units within its organization to ensure that its ships and personnel are protected, both at home in Canada and around the world.

One of those groups is the Naval Boarding Party (NBP). The NBP is a boarding team comprised of trained sailors on board Her Majesty’s Canadian Ships. Team members are full-time crew on board the ships who perform boarding party duties as a secondary duty. Naval Boarding Parties are used to conduct cooperative boarding operations in order to investigate lower-threat vessels of interest, such as merchant ships, and to work with deployed Naval Tactical Operations Group (NTOG) teams in supporting roles.

Relationship with a ship’s company

Ship’s NBP teams are made up of members from the ship’s company. They perform their regular duties full-time and will perform boarding duties as required.

When an NTOG team is embarked on a ship, the ship’s NBP team will support and work with the NTOG team as a follow on force or search team on a vessel of interest if required. NBP teams will train with embarked NTOG teams to further develop their skillsets. During boarding operations, the NBP team will provide support as the secondary wave for the NTOG team.


The NBP course is offered on both coasts at Canadian Forces Bases (CFB) Esquimalt and Halifax. Regular and Reserve force sailors can volunteer to challenge the six-week course. Upon completion, successful students are qualified to serve on an NBP team on their respective ships.

During the course students learn the basics of:

  • Naval Boarding Operations
  • NBP weapons
  • Personnel control techniques
  • Close quarter battle
  • Combat first aid
  • Sea container inspection; and
  • Legal aspects and mandates of boarding operations.


NBP teams deploy with the ships they crew and are involved in various operations around the world.


NBP teams, called “Alpha Wave,” are generally made up of approximately 10 ship’s crew. Additional crew members with the qualification can be kept in reserve to train and assist as required.