Within the French Navy, the sailors who make up the VBSS teams are all volunteers (from the ships’s crew) and from all ranks. The VBSS teams perform visits of vessels at sea to enforce the maritime and international laws.
It is therefore required to be regularly deployed to carry out investigations, or even to seize illegal ships. Up to now, these teams were regularly training at sea, using the services by private contractor SeaOwl.
The future training system will adopt a « commercial ship » layout. It will be made of 16 20-ft standard ISO containers simulating 3 ship levels. While the external look will be rather basic, the interior of the training module will be closer to what VBSS teams are likely to encounter in a commercial vessel, such as lights, metal doors and windows.
The construction work should start in early June 2020, and will last 4 months. The structure will be installed on the Malbousquet hill, in the western part of the Toulon naval base.