RCN enhances naval boarding capability

Advanced Naval Boarding Party

Cpl Michael Bastien, MARPAC Imaging Services
The naval boarding party of HMCS Regina conducts tactical movement drill practice on the ship’s upper deck off the coast of Africa on earlier this year during Operation Artemis.

The Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) is taking important steps toward tailoring its operations to confront and deter smaller, asymmetric threats with the standing up of a single dedicated unit that will provide an Advanced Naval Boarding Party (ANBP) capability.

“We are excited about the development, the stand-up of this new unit, and the unique and challenging opportunity it presents to all RCN personnel,” said LCdr Wil Lund, the ANBP Capability Officer in Charge. “It represents an important milestone that will enable the RCN to combine over a decade of highly successful operational experience with the ingenuity and abilities of our own officers and sailors.”

Right now, naval boarding parties are comprised of regular members from a ship’s company who perform these duties in addition to their primary duty on board. Once fully operational, the new unit will deploy specialized teams on any RCN platform operating in a high-risk environment.

Though traditional NBPs are capable of conducting basic obstructed boardings, the dynamic and evolving nature of RCN missions now calls for a new approach. The ANBP capability will allow for deployed vessels to meet the new level of risk and to provide other direct support when necessary.

With today’s naval operations increasingly concerned with providing maritime security in the littoral (near-shore) environment, the need for an advanced, versatile force that can respond rapidly to threats such as pirates, drug smugglers or small, nimble fast attack craft is as salient as ever.

These operations require a highly trained team such as the ANBP. Through extensive specialized training and careful selection, the Maritime Tactical Operators from this unit will eventually employ a spectrum of advanced tactics, such as hand-to-hand combat, improvised explosive device (IED) identification, close quarters battle, as well as tactical shooting and tactical questioning.

The implementation of this capability will be gradually phased in over several months, starting with the instructor training that commenced earlier this month to force generate the instructors required to train the first team. These instructors will develop an initial Enhanced Naval Boarding Party (ENBP) capability in the form of the first team of Maritime Tactical Operators. Once trained, this team will be ready to deploy, if needed, in 2015.

Utilizing the experience and lessons learned from this initial team, the unit will later develop a full ANBP capability and will be comprised of approximately 70-100 members from across the RCN, including both Regular and Reserve Force. Non-commissioned members and officers wishing to join will be put through a rigorous selection process before being invited to challenge the Maritime Tactical Operator’s course.

Selection for the Maritime Tactical Operator’s course is scheduled to run from Sept. 29 until Oct. 3.

“What we’ll be looking for most in candidates is that they’re mature, physically fit, willing to learn and capable of making logical split-second decisions within a high-stress environment,” said LCdr Lund.

On-going and highly successful operations, such as Operation Caribbe and Operation Artemis, are a testament to the evolving nature of the RCN’s missions and the important work it does to support maritime security in the littoral arena.

LCdr Lund said the standing up of this unit marks an important milestone in the RCN and will be a vital asset to its future endeavours.

“The end product of the ‘One Navy’ concept will provide an advanced and highly flexible capability at sea that will continue to adapt to the uncertainty and risk of both present and future RCN missions.”

Jamie Cook, MARPAC Public Affairs

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  1. Kayla says:

    I am on the verge of signing up for the Navy and I was wondering if any position in the Navy can apply to become a part of the Advanced Naval Boarding Party? Or are there certain careers that allow for it more?
    Ideally I would like to be an officer and the Maritime and Sub-Surface Officer catches my attention the most. I know it wouldn’t be for several years but that is what I would like to work towards, being part of the ANBP.

  2. Lookout says:

    LCdr Will Lund is the contact for this program. We can put you in contact with him. However, keep in mind this program is only for navy personnel.

  3. NGSD says:


    I currently serve within the CF(army reserve) and I need to contact this new unit to get info on trying out. Can you help me?



  4. Tayler says:

    Only Navy personnel can apply.

  5. RyNGingerale says:

    will there be any use for the regular boarding party, or will the ANBP make it obsolete

  6. […] “RCN enhances naval boarding capability” […]

  7. chase says:

    Can regular members from the army apply or is it specific to RCN?

  8. Lookout says:

    LCdr Will Lund is the best person to talk to. We will connect you.

  9. Lookout says:

    We are looking into that for you and will let you know when we get an answer.

  10. Mai says:

    Good day,

    Do you have more details on how to apply for the course or a contact name/number for further information?


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