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Coast Guard partners with Navy for special purpose craft boarding team delivery II


In an October 2020 small boat training event, Marines navigate their own version of what the Coast Guard will identify as the special purpose craft boarding team delivery II. U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Brendan Mullin.

On April 19, the Navy placed an order with United States Marine Inc. (USMI) on behalf of the Coast Guard for two 11-meter naval special warfare rigid inflatable boats (11M NSW RIB). The initial order, with a total value of $2.8 million, is part of a larger effort to acquire up to eight boats for Coast Guard Maritime Security Response Teams (MSRT). The vessels will be known as special purpose craft boarding team delivery II (SPC BTD II). This acquisition is in line with Congressional direction to procure vessels currently in production and used by Department of Defense units that are capable of operating in contested, near-shore environments. 

The Coast Guard MSRT mission is tactical; it is a ready assault force whose members are trained in maritime security, law enforcement boarding procedures, force protection and environmental hazards response within a tactical law enforcement operation. MSRT members are trained to quickly and surreptitiously board suspicious vessels, secure gas and oil platforms or other contacts of interest by fast-roping from helicopters or via other methods. The SPC BTD II was chosen because MSRT functions are similar in many ways to other military deployable specialized forces that currently use the 11M NSW RIB.

The boats are constructed of composite materials with an inflatable tube gunwale made of reinforced fabric, capable of operating in heavy seas and winds of 45 knots. In the Navy, they have a crew of three with a Navy SEAL element of up to eight. The boats are also increasingly used by Marine Corps boarding teams in a visit, board, search and seizure role.

USMI will modify the boats from Navy specifications to meet Coast Guard requirements, including a Tier III compliant engine and a Coast Guard navigation and communication suite. Delivery of the SPC BTD II will occur in 2023 and 2024.

For more information: Assistant Commandant for Capability page