Navies of the US and Republic of Korea (ROK) have successfully completed a mine countermeasures exercise as part of the Foal Eagle 2015 annual drill.
The bilateral training was aimed to increase readiness and interoperability in mine countermeasures operations and improve theatre security cooperation between the two navies.
Approximately 300 US Navy personnel assigned to Mine Countermeasures Squadron 7 (MCMRON 7), as well as mine countermeasures ships USS Warrior (MCM 10) and USS Chief (MCM 14) participated in the exercise.
In addition, teams from Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit (EODMU) 5, Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit (EODMU) 1, Naval Oceanography Mine Warfare Center, Helicopter Mine Countermeasures Squadron 14, and Mobile Mine Assembly Group were also part of the training.
MCMRON 7 commander captain Mike Dowling said: "Bilateral training in mine countermeasures is critical for our strategic ROK-US alliance.
"It also enhances our combined capabilities and interoperability with the ROK Navy. These live force exercises continue to support our commitment to maintaining maritime stability in this region."
As part of the training, the US and ROK navy ships and explosive ordnance disposal divers practised clearing routes for shipping and conducted training surveys for clearing operational areas.
In addition, remotely operated vehicles were used to rehearse mine countermeasures operations from under the sea.
Foal Eagle is the naval portion of the exercises that take place in international waters around South Korea.
MCMRON 7 is a combined readiness and tactical staff responsible for mine countermeasures in the US 7th Fleet area of responsibility.
Image: Sailors from USS Chief lower a mine neutralisation vehicle into position on the ship’s fantail. Photo: courtesy of US Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Abraham Essenmacher/Released.