Mine Warfare Readiness and Effectiveness Measuring (MIREM)
In September 1996, N85 chartered the Mine Warfare Readiness and Effectiveness Measuring (MIREM) program, an effort initiated by Commander, Surface Warfare Development Group (COMSURFWARDEVGRU) in 1995. MIREM applies to mine countermeasures the methodology that had been developed over 30 years for the highly successful Ship ASW Readiness and Effectiveness Measuring (SHAREM) Program. The SHAREM Program had already crossed the boundary between ASW and MIW, obtaining performance data on some organic MCM systems during exercises in the Arabian Gulf. However, before MIREM, the U.S. Navy had no coordinated program for assessing the effectiveness of its mine countermeasures (MCM) systems in a tactical environment.
The MIREM program collects and analyzes data to meet CNO and fleet requirements for quantitative MIW effectiveness measurement. Data gathered from MIREM exercises will be used to develop a database that decision-makers can use to weigh decisions on proposed improvements to existing systems or development of new ones. Planners and model builders will be able to use this real-world data to produce realistic performance characteristics in campaign simulations. Fleet warfighters will be able to use the data to assess the effectiveness of current tactics and rigorously validating new tactics at sea.
The MIREM Program is a collaborative effort of several Navy activities. N85 serves as the MIREM Program and Resource Sponsor; the Program Executive Office for Mine Warfare (PEO MIW) is the MIREM Resource Manager; and COMSURFWARDEVGRU is the MIREM Program Executive Agent.
COMSURFWARDEVGRU coordinates the participation of OPNAV; Fleet and Type Commanders; Commander, Mine Warfare Command (COMINEWARCOM); naval technical activities; system commands; and the Naval Oceanographic Office in designing, executing, and analyzing at-sea exercises. It also maintains the MIREM database, responds to requests for analytical products derived from the MIREM database as directed by N85, and will conduct cross-MIREM analyses of significant trends when sufficient data has been accumulated (currently projected to be in FY00).
COMINEWARCOM participates in the MIREM process by prioritizing specific MCM tactical development objectives and scheduling dedicated MCM and exercise mine assets for participation in MIREM exercises. In an annual program review, the exercise plan is established based on the objectives and requirements of the fleet. Support from MCCDC, NSWC Coastal Systems Station, NRL, naval warfare centers, other tactical development commands, and the Naval Oceanographic Office is coordinated during this review.
The MIREM Program is a relatively new program compared to the mature SHAREM program. The program database is still under development but has already identified needed changes and improvements in MCM systems and techniques. Since COMSURFWARDEVGRU began MIREM, the program has gathered MCM performance data from various exercises: SHAREMs 115 and 119, the MCM exercise ALCUDRA 97, and MIREMs 1-5. In FY99, additional four MIREM exercises were conducted as major fleet MCM exercises. While MIREMs 2 through 5 were small exercises focused on limited systems performance measurement objectives, FY 99 MIREM exercises measured the effectiveness of these systems when employed tactically as part of a larger MCM force.
MIREM exercises continue to evaluate the littoral and blue-water MCM forces, along with the introduction of VSW and marine mammal detachments. With the introduction and integration of organic MCM systems, MIREM will facilitate development of effective MIW tactics, techniques, and procedures providing recommendations backed by empirical data collection and quantitative analysis. Moreover, it will provide hard data to support programmatic decisions in the requirements and procurement process. MIREM addresses the tactical MIW concerns of the numbered fleet commanders in one coordinated effort by joining the operational and tactical development communities with the technical and scientific communities. MIREM exercises also provide intensive, realistic training for fleet participants.
The Coastal Systems Station (CSS) has long been a respected leader in sensing science and technology. With resident expertise in acoustics, magnetics, and electro-optics, as well as the adjunct fields of signal and image processing, CSS has developed a variety of sensors for use by the U.S. Navy in coastal areas. These systems are employed to detect, localize, classify, and identify objects both in the water and on the beach. CSS participated in two mine countermeasure (MCM) exercises held in the Gulf of Mexico during September 1999. One was the ninth in the series of Minewarfare Readiness and Effectiveness Measuring (MIREM-9) exercises conducted under the direction of the Navy's Surface Warfare Development Group based in Norfolk, Virginia. The Research Vessel (R/V) Gyre was engaged to tow the systems in water depths of 40 to 100 feet during day and night operations. In the MIREM exercise, through-the-sensor data was gathered during minehunting for environmental studies. The goals of MIREM-9 were to assess and document performance of surface and air MCM systems in tactical environments; to identify and develop solutions for tactical problems connected with the employment of mine warfare systems and platforms; to make recommendations for effective employment of mine warfare systems and platforms; to validate and support the development of Fleet, force and unit MCM tactics; and finally, to establish and maintain an MCM repository that is comprehensive and responsive to Fleet and CNO requirements for tactical and technical data.
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