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Multinational Mine Warfare Exercise Begins Off Coast of South Korea

Navy News Service

Story Number: NNS171016-05
Release Date: 10/16/2017 8:43:00 AM

From Amphibious Force 7th Fleet Public Affairs

BUSAN, Republic of Korea (NNS) -- Maritime forces from the United States and Republic of Korea (ROK), together with personnel from United Nations Command (UNC) Sending State nations, commenced Multinational Mine Warfare Exercise (MN MIWEX) in waters off of the eastern coast of the Republic of Korea, Oct. 15.

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

Over the next week, mine countermeasure 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 a given area of operations. The evolutions are meant to provide increased mine countermeasure interoperability and readiness to respond to a contingency on the Korean peninsula.

"This exercise is an incredible opportunity for our MCM forces and our staff to conduct complex mine countermeasure operations with our much-valued allies and friends in support of the Republic of Korea navy and other nations committed to defending the Korean peninsula," said Capt. Jim Miller, commodore, Mine Countermeasures Squadron (MCMRON) 7, whose staff will participate in the exercise from Chinhae, Republic of Korea. "We continue to train with our MCM counterparts in the ROK navy on a routine basis, and we look forward to further enhancing our combined capabilities through this exercise."

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 and 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, Naval Forces Korea. "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 UNC Sending States including Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, the Philippines, South Africa, Thailand, Turkey, 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 ROK, and the United States.

U.S. units participating in the MN MIWEX include staff from MCMRON 7, Mine Countermeasures Helicopter Squadron 14 Det. 2A, and USS Chief.

This year marks the 64th anniversary of the U.S.-ROK Mutual Defense Treaty, which serves as the foundation of our alliance and a force for peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and in Northeast Asia.

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