Mine countermeasure exercise Clear Horizon starts in South Korea

Naval representatives from the U.S., Republic of Korea and United Nations Sending States, gather at the Commander, Republic of Korea Fleet base for the opening ceremony of Clear Horizon. Photo: US Navy

The first iteration of the international mine countermeasure (MCM) exercise Clear Horizon 2016 started in Busan, Republic of South Korea on October 16.

U.S. and Republic of Korea (ROK) Navy mine countermeasures units will train alongside MCM forces from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom.

This is also the first year since the Korean War the Philippines and Thailand have participated in an exercise in the waters surrounding the Korean Peninsula.

“As allies, we are committed to building on our collective expertise in this critical warfare area,” said Capt. Jim Miller, commodore, Mine Countermeasures Squadron 7. “This exercise provides great training value, and we look forward to working with our ROK counterparts along with our regional partners over the next week.”

During the exercise, U.S. Navy MCM units will work with Korean MCM units and partners to practice clearing routes for shipping, as well as conducting training surveys for clearing future operational areas.

Mine clearing helicopters are scheduled to practice hunting mines from the air. Helicopters also are scheduled to practice deck landing qualifications on participating ships.

Explosive ordnance personnel will conduct helicopter casting operations and very shallow water operations to simulate neutralizing mines.

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