Boat Stern Launching Techniques

Looking at this little film, it struck me that the technique that was usable in the heaviest seas was that used by the Canadians (12:45-16:20), claiming a capability to Sea State Six, and they were the only ones that chose to run the ship parallel to the seas during recovery, rather than into the waves. This may be a bit counter intuitive, but it means the ship’s pitching is reduced and consequently there is less vertical displacement of the recovering ship’s stern.

As we saw in an earlier study, “The stern ramp availability is driven by sill depth and pitch motions…” In other words pitching is what limits the ability to recover the boat, and the problem becomes progressively worse as the size of the “host” vessel increases because there is a growing difference between the movement of the ship’s stern and the small boat.

I don’t know what our current doctrine is, but steaming parallel to the seas for recovery might be worth consideration if we are not already doing so.

Thanks to Adroth for bringing this to my attention. 

VBSS Equipment–Chinese Style

China Defense Blog reports Chinese Peoples’ Liberation Army Marine Corps (PLAMC) Visit, Boarding, Search, and Seizure (VBSS) teams en route to waters off Somalia will be wearing new, safer equipment.

Notable is that the armored equipment vest incorporates a quick release feature.

“Clear Duty VBSS body armor vest is being tested by the PLAMC for boarding party. It’s made by a local Chinese private company. VBSS stands for Visit, Board, Search, and Seizure operation.

“The CD VBSS is more comfortable and offers quick-release that the standard issued Type 06 body armor lacks. The quick-release is a life saver if a boarding team member fall into the water. All he needed it is just pull the quick-release to remove the vest (which will be loaded down with hard plates, ammo, pistol, comm & other gears) and swim to the surface.

“The vest uses Kevlar material and has large SAPI size hard plate pocket in the front and back. — Timothy Yan” (More detail and photos at China Defense Blog)