Blue Harrier is a United States and NATO training exercise off the coast of Denmark involving navies of NATO-member countries. This biennial, multinational mine-warfare exercise, a major NATO MCM exercise, takes place in the Baltic Approaches.
In January of 1993 HM-14 participated in the first integrated exercise at Naval Station Ingleside, Texas. In March of the same year, HM-14 deployed to Northern Europe aboard USS Inchon (LPH12) to participate in "Unified Spirit" and "Blue Harrier '93."
Blue Harrier 97 highlighted the newly converted mine countermeasures (MCM) command-and-control ship Inchon (MCS 12). This exercise provided NATO mine warfare units the opportunity to interact in tactics and procedures, which promoted cooperation and mutual understanding amongst its participants. In April of 1997, HM-14 participated in the "Blue Harrier 97" which was conducted in the Kattegat Straits near Denmark. This exercise was NATO's largest and most comprehensive mine warfare exercise.
Two Barksdale B-52s showcased the 2nd Bomb Wing's Global Power capabilities during a 23-hour mission April 23 and 24 as part of the joint aerial mining exercise Blue Harrier '97. This was the only Air Force participation. The global power mission covered a distance of about 9,000 miles and required two refuelings. Unlike most of the Global Power missions flown by the wing, U.S. Navy munitions specialists came to Barksdale to load mines on the aircraft before the mission. Normally, the wing's Global Power missions involve 2nd Munitions Squadron and 49th Test Squadron people arming the B-52s with an array of bombs and conventional air launched cruise missiles. Barksdale maintainers and crew chiefs launched the aircraft, armed with eight mines each, April 23, to rendezvous with Navy controllers over the North Sea.
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