Squadron Exercises (RONEX)
Squadron Exercises (RONEX) are scheduled quarterly for those mine countermeasures units that have completed the basic training phase. The RONEX is conducted during the intermediate training phase and is designed to bring ships who have mastered individual unit MCM disciplines together as a task Force under the MCM Squadron in a tactical exercise scenario, and provide additional training as required. MCM Squadron Commanders tailor the intermediate and advanced phases to the forces involved and will consider the types of scenarios to be encountered in upcoming major fleet exercises and deployments.
The Squadron Exercise, or RONEX is designed to provide intermediate phase training in mine sweeping, mine hunting and mine neutralization capabilities in a multi-ship environment. RONEX is the second training phase of a three-part series designed to give ships crews the skills needed for effective mine countermeasures capability. The first phase includes individual ship training. Once that is complete, squadron ships participate in RONEX for coordinated multi-ship mine countermeasures training. The final phase includes other mine countermeasures methods, including Explosive Ordnance Disposal divers, and aviation mine countermeasures systems. RONEX is an important phase of the Inter-Deployment Training Cycle. It is a good opportunity to review the basics and hone skills in the mission of mine countermeasures. RONEX was designed to promote personnel and material readiness of mine warfare squadrons, prepare them to deploy on a moment's notice, and provide potent and dependable mine warfare capabilities.
The ships of Mine Warfare Readiness Group One participated in Squadron Exercise 02-1, 23 Oct. to 2 Nov. 2001, in the Gulf of Mexico near Corpus Christi, Texas. The mine countermeasures ships USS Defender (MCM 2) and USS Sentry (MCM 3) joined the coastal minehunters USS Robin (MHC 54), USS Kingfisher (MHC 56) and USS Black Hawk (MHC 58) for the exercise.
Four ships from Mine Warfare Readiness Group Four participated in Squadron Exercise 01-2, March 5-16 2001, in the Gulf of Mexico near Panama City, Fla. The mine countermeasures ships USS Warrior (MCM 10) and USS Gladiator (MCM 11) were joined by the coastal minehunters USS Cormorant (MHC 57) and USS Shrike (MHC 62) for the exercise. Commander, Mine Countermeasures Squadron Three, commanded by Commodore Gregory J. Cornish, of Bentleyville, Pa, conducted the exercise. Other units participating in the exercise included Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit Six Detachment Panama City, and Mine Warfare Command Mobile Integrated Command Facility (CMWC MICFAC). The CMWC MICFAC, based in Ingleside, is a dedicated mine countermeasures mobile command and control facility designed to provide exercise participants with continuous command, control, communications, computer and intelligence (C4I) information. The four ships left their homeport of Ingleside, Texas, Feb. 17. In route, Warrior and Gladiator stopped in New Orleans, La. Feb. 21-27, while Cormorant and Shrike enjoyed a port visit to Mobile, Ala., Feb. 21-28, during Mardi Gras celebrations. After the exercise, the ships made a port visit to Panama City, Fla., 15-19 Mar. Cormorant, Gladiator and Shrike returned to Ingleside March 23.
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