Commander, Naval Surface Forces has announced eligibility criteria for Hazardous Duty Incentive Pay for Visit, Board, Search and Seizure teams. Members conducting boardings in support of the following mission areas qualify for the HDIP: maritime interception operations, including those in support of Operation Southern Watch, Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom and the global war on terrorism; counter-drug operations; and homeland defense. The pay will be awarded as long as team members complete three boardings in a given month and are part of the VBSS team during the entirety of that month. Other conditions that apply:


Team members must be appointed and designated in writing by the commanding officer or on a command-approved watchbill.


Team members must be qualified in assigned weapons and qualified as second-class swimmers.


As of Jan. 1, 2004, boarding officer/assistant boarding officers must be graduates of a VBSS boarding officer course of instruction (not required for back pay).


Boat crews must be qualified in accordance with personnel qualification standards.


Team members are not required to be graduates of VBSS/MIO procedures course of instruction but shall be locally trained under command directives.


Training/Exercise VBSS boardings do not qualify.