US, ROK Navy conclude mine countermeasure exercise

U.S. Navy’s Avenger-class mine countermeasures ship USS Warrior (MCM 10) concluded a mine countermeasure exercise with the Republic of Korea Navy on March 29.

The exercise, designed to enhance the MCM warfare capabilities of both navies, was held March 19-29 off the coast of the southern city of Chinhae.

“It’s important to have a strong surface capability in order to hunt and neutralize those threats if called upon,” said Lt. Cmdr. Bill Carroll, Warrior’s commanding officer, “and that is what we are doing with our ROK partners.”

During the exercise, Warrior simulated and used inert mines but in real world operations an MCM would recieve information from various sources and be sent to a specific body of water where the mines are suspected to be located. The ship then begins to search, or hunt, the designated area for mines.

“It starts in Operations department,” said Chief Mineman Miguel Torres, leading chief petty officer for Warrior’s operations department. “We are involved from preparation to neutralization and the data we gather helps the ship determine the best way to operate.”

“After our sonar teams locate possible mines, we classifying them by size, shape and deck department prepares the mine hunting equipment,” said Torres.

MCM platforms like Warrior are equipped with an ANSLQ-48 mine neutralization vehicle (MNV) which is used to disable mines by either cutting the mooring chain on moored mines causing them to float to the surface, or by cracking the mine’s casing which allows seawater to enter and render the electronics useless.

MCM’s also have explosive ordinance disposal (EOD) lockers for EOD teams if necessary.