The U.S. Navy, Royal Netherlands Navy and German Navy completed a week-long Expeditionary Mine Countermeasures (ExMCM) training evolution as part of Exercise Bold Alligator 2017 (BA17) on Oct. 23.
The combined ExMCM force had members from the Royal Netherlands Navy Defense Dive Group Very Shallow Water (VSW) Dive Platoon, German Navy Mine Clearance Diving Company and U.S. Navy ExMCM Company 202, a combined unit comprised of Sailors from Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit (EODMU) 2 MCM platoon, Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit (MDSU) 2 unmanned systems platoon and the Naval Oceanographic Mine Warfare Center (NOMWC) post-mission analysis cell.
BA17 is a live, events-driven exercise featuring U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps and partner nation forces. The exercise provides the Navy and Marine Corps team tactical level training for amphibious operations which are core requirement to maritime power projection.
The exercise incorporates amphibious, carrier strike group, air wing and ExMCM operations to provide a rigorous training environment for the combined forces.
The scope of the exercise was modified because of U.S. and partner nation efforts in the wake of hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria.
During the three-day training evolution, the ExMCM force was tasked to clear a path for amphibious forces to conduct an amphibious assault on the beach. The three-day training evolution evaluated the ExMCM force’s ability to execute a detect-to-engage sequence. U.S. and Dutch teams used unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV) side-scan sonar to find potential mine-like objects before sending out the Dutch VSW divers or the U.S. Seabotix Remote Operated Vehicle (ROV) to confirm whether the objects were mines.
EOD Group (EODGRU) 2, headquartered at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story in Virginia Beach, oversees all East Coast-based Navy EOD mobile units, including one forward-deployed mobile unit in Spain, as well as EOD Expeditionary Support Unit (EODESU) 2, EOD Training and Evaluation Unit (EODTEU) 2 and Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit (MDSU) 2.
U.S. Navy EOD is the world’s premier combat force for countering explosive hazards and conducting expeditionary diving and salvage.
MC2 Charles Oki, Explosive Ordnance Disposal Group 2