RIMPAC Mine Warfare Operations Underway in SOCAL

Commander Task Force (CTF) 177, led by U.S. Navy Rear Adm. Dave Welch, commander, Naval Surface and Mine Warfighting Development Center (SMWDC) and the Navy’s Global Mine Warfare Commander, kicked off the Southern California (SOCAL) portion of the Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) with mine warfare training operations which run from June 27 to Aug. 2. CTF 177 is comprised of 26 units with approximately 1,100 personnel representing the United States, Australia, Canada, England, Japan, the Netherlands and New Zealand. It will conduct advanced mine warfare operations including mine countermeasure…

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NATO Participating in Open Spirit Historical Mine Clearance Operation

May 11, 2018 – Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group One (SNMCMG1) is joining mine countermeasures vessels and experts from multiple nations in Tallinn, Estonia to conduct historical ordnance clearance operation Open Spirit in the waters near Estonia. Open Spirit is held each year in the Baltic Sea and organized by Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania on a rotating basis and is designed to clear historical sea mines and other live ordnance on the seafloor left over from the First and Second World Wars. The operation also serves as an opportunity for…

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Regional Mine Warfare teams unite to secure regional trade

The risk posed by sea mines is a key focus at this year’s Western Pacific Naval Symposium (WPNS) Mine Countermeasures and Diving Exercise (MCM DIVEX), hosted by the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) on the New South Wales south coast. MCM DIVEX is hosted by a WPNS member every two years. This year’s exercise is being held at HMAS Creswell. Commander of Australian Mine Warfare and Clearance Diving Squadron, Commander Brett Dawe, said teams from 18 nations are spending a fortnight learning from each other’s experiences. “Each nation taking part in…

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Royal Navy gets first unmanned minesweeping system

An autonomous minesweeper system that can safely clear sea lanes of mines has been handed over to the Royal Navy, Defence Minister Guto Bebb announced. Following a period of successful trials the demonstrator system could go on to be used by the Royal Navy in the future to defeat the threat of modern digital mines. The system has been designed and manufactured by Atlas Elektronik UK in Dorset, under a £13 million contract with the Ministry of Defence which has sustained around 20 jobs and created 15 new jobs with…

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Raytheon to help US Navy develop Barracuda mine neutralizer

Raytheon Company has built two small, Polar Scout satellites for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in partnership with Millennium Engineering and Integration. The satellites have flexible radio frequency receivers to help search and rescue teams locate emergency beacons in remote areas, such as the Arctic. Raytheon assembles small satellites at its advanced missile production facility in Tucson, Arizona. Raytheon assembled the small satellites at the company’s advanced missile production facility in Tucson, Arizona. The smallsats are part of a project led by the U.S. Air Force Operationally Responsive Space…

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Gulf mine forces link up for final workout of 2017

A giant America Sea Dragon helicopter passes HMS Bangor during the last all-action minehunting exercise of 2017 in the Gulf. The Royal Navy’s entire Middle East mine warfare force – five ships and a command team – were committed alongside American robot boats and the US minehunter Gladiator to test the two navies’ ability to keep vital sea routes open should any nation or group sow the waters with mines. The two navies share the same base (Bahrain), much of the same equipment (in particular the remote-controlled submersible SeaFox which…

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USS Chief departs Sasebo for 3JA MCM exercise with Japanese

USS Chief (MCM 14) departed Sasebo Nov. 21 to join Japan Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF) MCM ships and aircraft in MCM exercise 3JA. MCMEX 3JA is part of an annual series of bilateral exercises held between the U.S. and Japan to increase proficiency and interoperability in mine countermeasure operations. This will be the second year that Chief will participate in the U.S.-Japan bilateral exercise and follows its recent participation in the Multinational Mine Warfare Exercise with the Republic of Korea and United Nation Command Sending States. “Chief is excited…

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