US-JMSDF mine countermeasure drill 3JA gets underway

US Navy’s Avenger-class mine countermeasures ship USS Chief (MCM 14) joined ships and aircraft from the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF) for the mine countermeasure exercise 3JA.

USS Chief got underway from its forward-deployed homeport of Sasebo on November 21.

The 3JA drill is part of an annual series of bilateral exercises held between the US and Japan to increase proficiency and interoperability in mine countermeasure operations.

This will be the second year that Chief will participate in the US-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 to participate in this bilateral exercise with our Japanese allies,” said Lt. Cmdr. Frederick Crayton, Chief executive officer. “We look forward to strengthening our cooperation our cooperation in mine countermeasures operations. By working together, it helps ensure our two nations are jointly postured to maintain peace and stability for Japan and throughout the region.”

3JA participants will conduct unit-level mine countermeasures tactics to include sweeping, hunting, and mine detection in addition to clearing a route for ships through a simulated minefield in one of the designated exercise areas.