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U.S., Japan, Australia to conduct mine warfare exercise

14 November 2018

From Amphibious Force 7th Fleet Public Affairs

Part of an annual mine countermeasures exercise series between the U.S. Navy and JMSDF, the Royal Australian Navy will join for the first time this year.

OKINAWA, Japan - The U.S. Navy, Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF), and Royal Australian Navy (RAN) are scheduled to begin Mine Warfare Exercise 3JA 2018 off the coast of southern Japan, Nov. 17.

This is part of an annual exercise series with the U.S. Navy and JMSDF, joined for the first time this year by the RAN. The exercise increases proficiency in mine countermeasures operations.

“Our continued work with the JSMDF combined with this year’s addition of our Australian allies gives exercise 3JA a much more vibrant impact and allows for greater richness of training,” said Rear Adm. Brad Cooper, commander, Amphibious Force, U.S. 7th Fleet.

During the exercise, participating units will practice unit-level mine warfare tactics to include sweeping, hunting, and mine detection.

The exercise will culminate in a combined phase in which U.S. and JMSDF will coordinate and communicate to clear a route for ships through a simulated minefield in one of the designated exercise areas.

JMSDF units include Mine Warfare Force (MWF); Commander, Mine Division (CMD) 1; CMD42; CMD43; Uraga class mine sweeper tenders JS Bungo (MST-464) and JS Uraga (MST-463)‎; one mine-sweep ocean (MSO) ship, five mine-sweep coastal (MSC) ships; and three mine countermeasures helicopters (MCH) 101.

RAN units include HMAS Huon (M 82) and HMAS Gascoyne (M 85).

U.S. units participating include the mine countermeasures ship USS Chief (MCM 14); Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit (EODMU) 5, Platoon 501; Helicopter Mine Countermeasures Squadron (HM) 14 and the staff from Mine Countermeasures Squadron 7.

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