ATLANTIC OCEAN (NNS) -- Sailors from the visit, board, search and seizure (VBSS) team aboard the guided missile destroyer USS Mitscher (DDG 57) conducted a nighttime boarding exercise Jan. 23.
The 13-member team boarded a vessel acting as a pirated ship.
Ens. Jason Coyle, who is scheduled to take over as boarding officer for Mitscher's upcoming deployment, said nighttime boardings are very unusual for a VBSS team.
"It's not something we usually do," said Coyle. "Usually you see higher level teams like Navy SEALs conducting these operations."
Even a nighttime training exercise can be dangerous, but Coyle said the risk paid off.
"We learned a few extra things we weren't taught in (VBSS) school; situations we can be put in which we typically would not encounter during a daytime boarding," said Coyle.
The boarding was an evaluated exercise for the team.
"They look at everything from tactical movements down to interrogation techniques," Coyle said.
"It's not been confirmed, but the word I received is of the past six teams that went over and did the nighttime boarding, we were the best."
This was the first nighttime boarding exercise for the VBSS team.
Mitscher is conducting a Composite Training Unit Exercise (COMPTUEX) as part of the George H.W. Bush Strike Group to prepare for an upcoming combat deployment.
For more news from USS George H.W. Bush, visit http://www.navy.mil/local/cvn77/.