Coast Guard plays hide and seek on historic ship in Baltimore

BALTIMORE â?? Members of the vessel boarding and security team at Coast Guard Sector Baltimore conduct tactical training exercises, Feb. 11, 2011, aboard the John W. Brown, a 441-foot liberty ship in Baltimore. The VBST routinely conducts training on ships throughout Baltimore to ensure their team is confident in their abilities in the event of a high-risk boarding. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Grace Baldwin.BALTIMORE – Coast Guard vessel boarding and security team members conducted tactical training aboard the SS John W. Brown, a historic 441-foot liberty ship in Baltimore, Friday.

The VBST simulated situations consisting of stowaways hidden throughout the ship to practice their tactical sweeps of the ship and worked on using radiation detection and identification equipment to ensure the team is confident in their abilites in the event of a high-risk boarding.

The team is responsible for detecting and deterring terrorist activity and ensuring the safety and security of the Port of Baltimore and the National Capital Region. They average approximately 100 vessel boardings per year, ranging from deep draft vessels, commercial fishing vessels and recreational boats.

A full-time VBST was established at Sector Baltimore in the summer of 2007.

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