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U.S., ROK Navies Increase Capabilities During Clear Horizon

24 October 2014

From Lt. Arlo Abrahamson, Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Korea Public Affairs

The two navies completed a successful mine countermeasures exercise Oct. 24 in waters south of the Korean peninsula.

CHINHAE, Republic of Korea - 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.

"Clear Horizon 2014 was a very successful exercise for both navies," said Capt. Mike Dowling, commander, Mine Countermeasures Squadron 7. "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.

"We achieved our training objectives during this exercise," said Cmdr. Kim, Boem Woo, of the Republic of Korea Fleet. "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.

"I am extremely proud of the performance of my crew during exercise Clear Horizon," said Lt. Cmdr. James Correia, commanding officer of USS Chief. "Our crew received some very valuable training during the exercise and we enhanced our ability to operate with our partners in the Republic of Korea navy."

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.

The U.S. 7th Fleet maintains routine presence in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region to help promote maritime security and develop partnerships with friends and allies. Forward-deployed U.S. naval presence contributes to freedom of navigation, operational readiness, and enables an exchange of culture, skills, and tactical knowledge with nations throughout the region.

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