US, ROK Navy mine countermeasure exercise starts off Korea

USS Warrior (MCM 10) sailors launch a mine-neutralization vehicle during an earlier exercise off Korea. Photo. US Navy

Mine countermeasure ships from the US and Republic of Korea Navy kicked off the Multinational Mine Warfare Exercise (MN MIWEX) together with personnel from United Nations Command (UNC) Sending State nations off of the eastern coast of the Republic of Korea.

USS Chief (MCM 14) departed Busan after a short visit to join ROK Navy MCM assets and began integration procedures to ensure all participants can work together.

Over the next week, mine countermeasures ships, aircraft, and explosive ordnance personnel will conduct a series of drills meant to practice procedures and tactics to detect and neutralize sea mines in order to create safe navigation routes in given areas of operation. The evolutions are meant to provide increased mine countermeasure interoperability and readiness to respond to a contingency on the Korean peninsula.

Leading up to the MN MIWEX, U.S. Naval Forces Korea and the Republic of Korea Navy hosted their fourth annual Mine Countermeasures Symposium in Busan at the Republic of Korea Fleet Headquarters in Busan, Oct. 12-14.

The three-day long exchange was designed to enhance mine countermeasure coordination, training, cooperation and improve capabilities in mine countermeasures operations.

“The relationship between the U.S. and ROK navies is stronger than it ever has been,” said Rear Adm. Brad Cooper, commander of CNFK. “Together our navies work to strengthen the alliance and relationships we have with the UNC Sending States through engagements like the symposium that highlight cooperation and interoperability.”

In attendance at the symposium were representatives from nine United Nations Command (UNC) Sending States including Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Philippines, Thailand, Turkey, South Africa, and the United Kingdom.

The UNC Sending States representatives will also observe portions of the exercise.

Participating nations contributing forces to MN MIWEX include Canada, the Philippines, the United States, and ROK.

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