Naval Security Team begins operations under new mandate

Right: Naval Security Team members undergo weapons training on Sept. 14 at the Heals Range. Photo: Lt(N) Robert Newton, NST.

Lt(N) Robert Newton, 
Executive Officer, Naval Security Team

After two years of reduced operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Naval Security Team (NST) is ramping up again, however, this time with a new mandate.

NST will be focusing on Harbour Defence (HD) and Force Protection (FP) in support of the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) and Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) Operations.

HD / FP will comprise many aspects, including: high-value asset (HVA) escorts, enforcement of controlled access zones (CAZ), and protecting crucial military or civilian facilities and infrastructure.

NST is currently in pre-deployment training to support Domestic FP requirements this fall at CFB Halifax. NST is typically comprised of full-time Naval Reservists, but as we’re ‘One Navy’, 25 regular force members have joined NST to be trained in HD and FP outside of their regular duties. Having both Regular and Reserve Forces collaborate and build an elite deployable force creates a unique opportunity to train and deliver the Fleet Commanders’ intent.

Over the next six weeks, NST and their new augmented members will be in full swing with pre-deployment training.

This training consists of weapons training on four systems: C7/C8 rifle, Sig Sauer pistol, C9 light machine gun, and the C6 general purpose machine guns. The light and general purpose machine guns are used as mounted weapons on the fore and aft of the Defender-class HD Response Boats.

The trainees will have intensive classroom and dry land training on all four weapons and will use this training on the live fire range. Upon successful completion at qualification, these members will be fully qualified on four weapon platforms, which is uncommon for naval members.

The next training phase will employ these new skills on the water.

As the Team’s core members will mainly consist of boat coxswains, new members will fill the roles of both navigators and gunners while conducting HD training. Patrol leaders will be in charge of the on-water presence leading them with weapon safety, Rules of Engagement (ROE) and direct firing orders if called upon.

The Level 1 (Operator) of the NST qualification includes weapon qualifications, tactical firing, extensive classroom training on the Use of Force (UoF) and ROE, and numerous hours logged on the water. After completion, trainees will be presented with an NST qualification badge they can wear for the rest of their careers.

NST Operator qualifications will allow these members to be called upon at a moment’s notice when RCN HD duty calls. This new elite team will be ready to answer the call and deploy to support the RCN, whenever needed.

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