Mineman 1st Class Sean McDermott prepares to launch a mine neutralization vehicle aboard USS Warrior (MCM 10) during training off the South Korea coast. (U.S. Navy/MC2 Jermaine M. Ralliford)

WATERS SOUTH OF THE KOREAN PENINSULA - USS Warrior (MCM 10) successfully concluded a mine countermeasures exercise with the Republic of Korea Navy, 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.”

Carroll stated that the Warrior, and other MCM class ships, give navies the ability to detect mines with sonar, disable them with neutralization vehicles, and sweep [search] for mines mechanically, acoustically and magnetically.

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 ordnance disposal (EOD) lockers for EOD teams if necessary.

“I have a lot of trust in the crew and they have a lot of trust amongst themselves and in leadership to get the job done,” said Carroll. “In the four ships I’ve served on, I have never seen a crew come together like this and work together so well together. Everyone understands the importance of our mission, of mine countermeasure warfare, and everyone is dedicated to it and our ROK partners.”