The Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF), U.S. Navy and participants from the Indian Navy commenced Mine Warfare Exercise 2JA 2019 off the coast of northern Japan, July 18.
Part of an annual exercise series with the U.S. Navy and JMSDF, joined again this year by forces from the Indian Navy, 2JA increases proficiency in mine countermeasures operations and allows forces from partner nations to practice working together.
“Countering the mine threat is an essential mission that enables us to support a free and open Indo-Pacific region,” said Rear Adm. Fred Kacher, commander of Expeditionary Strike Group 7. “The value of the relationships we build with our partners and allies as we conduct combined drills and exercises in this vital region cannot be overstated. Training and operating together during exercise 2JA will keep our mine warfare skills sharp and our partnership strong.”
During the exercise, participating units will practice unit-level mine warfare tactics to include sweeping, hunting, and mine detection.
Mine Squadron 2 and commander, Mine Countermeasures Squadron 7 will work together throughout the exercise to direct mine hunting tasks U.S. and JMSDF ships. This training will allow all the units to practice communicating and operating in a combined environment and learn to maximize their cumulative mine hunting capability.
JMSDF units include Mine Warfare Force (MWF); commander, Mine Divisions (CMD) 1, 2, 3, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, and 101; mine sweeper tenders JS Uraga (MST-463) and JS Bungo (MST-464) ; mine-sweep ocean ship JS Awaji (MSO-304); mine-sweep controller ship JS Yugeshima (MCL-731); fourteen mine-sweep coastal ships; three mine countermeasures helicopters (MCH) 101 from Flight Squadron 111; and P-3C and P-1 aircraft from Flight Squadrons 1, 2, 3, and 5.
U.S. units participating include USS Warrior (MCM 10), Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit 5, Platoon 501 and the staff from Mine Countermeasures Squadron 7. Indian Navy explosive ordnance disposal personnel will also participate.
MCMRON 7 is forward deployed to Sasebo, Japan and consists of USS Patriot (MCM 7), USS Pioneer (MCM 9), USS Warrior (MCM 10), and USS Chief (MCM 14).
Task Force 76