Sailors from the Naval Oceanography Mine Warfare Center (NAVOCEANMIWCEN) deployed to 5th Fleet area of responsibility (AOR) as the first unit to be permanently deployed under Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command (NAVMETOCCOM).
The NAVOCEANMIWCEN Sailors, who deployed Sept. 1, participated in the International Mine Countermeasures Exercise 2014 (IMCMEX), which ended Nov. 13.
NAVOCEANMIWCEN (CTE 18.104.22.168), an Echelon V command under NAVMETOCCOM, uses the oceanography disciplines to provide battlespace awareness for mine warfare forces. NAVOCEANMIWCEN operates unmanned underwater vehicles, analyzes sonar data, and examines sea-bottom sonar imagery to find mines. Although NAVOCEANMIWCEN platoons routinely deploy worldwide in support of fleet operations, no naval oceanography command ever has had a permanently deployed unit.
The deployment is a joint initiative with Naval Expeditionary Combat Command (NECC), known as Task Group 56.1. The task group uses large and small unmanned underwater vehicles and analyzes the data from the unmanned vehicles as well as any other sonar data collected in the area to keep harbors and waterways cleared of mines.
Beginning in March, NECC Sailors will operate the large unmanned underwater vehicles and a platoon of 10 NAVOCEANMIWCEN Sailors will perform post-mission analysis with an additional two Sailors working as a data-fusion cell to process all of the sonar data into one common operational picture. Until March, when the NECC Sailors will have completed the training for the operation of the vehicles, NAVOCEANMIWCEN Sailors will operate the vehicles and do the mission analysis.
Press release, Image: US Navy