Commander, Amphibious Force 7th Fleet, Commander, Mine Countermeasures Squadron (MCMRON) 7, and Japan Maritime Self Defense Force Commander (JMSDF), Mine Warfare Force concluded a three day mine warfare staff conference at CTF 76 headquarters February 25.
This year’s conference highlighted an increased focus on enhancing combined exercises to better integrate U.S. and Japanese forces and capabilities in a live-force environment. Interoperability, cooperation, and tactical development were key themes of the event.
The intent for the staff talks is to provide a forum for the subject matter experts to meet and discuss different aspects of their mission objectives and their responsibilities and provide a forum to discuss coordination and training between U.S. and JMSDF Mine Warfare forces.
Both U.S. and JMSDF MCM ships pulled in to White Beach where Sailors from both navies were provided tours and introductions of the ships as their respective staffs crafted plans for future operations. In the spirit of friendship, the two navies engaged in softball and enjoyed cookout serving traditional American and Japanese barbeque.
MCMRON 7, commanded by Capt. Mike Dowling, is a combined readiness and tactical staff responsible for mine countermeasures in the SEVENTH Fleet area of responsibility. The squadron consists of four Avenger class minesweepers forward deployed to Sasebo, Japan and a helicopter mine countermeasures detachment in Pohang, Republic of Korea.
Image: US Navy