US, Republic of Korea Navies Conclude Clear Horizon

The U.S. and Republic of Korea navies completed a successful mine countermeasures exercise Oct. 24, in waters south of the Korean peninsula.

The annual Clear Horizon exercise ran Oct. 20-24 and was designed to increase interoperability in mine countermeasures operations between the U.S. and Republic of Korea navies.

Capt. Mike Dowling, commander, Mine Countermeasures Squadron 7, said:

Clear Horizon 2014 was a very successful exercise for both navies.

We operated together in a difficult and demanding training environment, and we’ve increased our combined capabilities in mine countermeasures operations.

Approximately 330 U.S. Navy personnel assigned to Mine Countermeasures Squadron 7, mine countermeasure ships USS Warrior (MCM 10) and USS Chief (MCM 14); along with MH-53E helicopters from Helicopter Mine Countermeasures Squadron (HM) 14 and a team from Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit (EODMU) 5, Platoon 501, participated in the training alongside their Republic of Korea navy partners.

During the exercise, U.S. and Republic of Korea navy ships, aircraft and explosive ordnance disposal divers practiced clearing routes for shipping and conducted training surveys for clearing operational areas. Mine clearing helicopters and remotely operated vehicles were also used to rehearse mine countermeasures operations from the air and under the sea.

Cmdr. Kim, Boem Woo, of the Republic of Korea Fleet, added:

Clear Horizon 2014 increased the readiness of both navies to effectively carry out mine countermeasures operations in the maritime environment.

Leaders from both navies said the training made them more confident in their ability to work as a team during combined operations at sea.

Clear Horizon is one of approximately 20 annual bilateral training exercises held each year between the U.S. and Republic of Korea navies aimed at strengthening the alliance and preserving stability and peace around the Korean peninsula and throughout Northeast Asia.

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Press release, Image: US Navy