US Navy and JMSDF started Mine Warfare Exercise MIWEX 2JA

Mine warfare forces from the U.S. Navy and Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) started Mine Warfare Exercise (MIWEX) 2JA 2020 off the coast of northern Japan, July 20.
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US Navy JMSDF Flex Mine Warfare Capabilities During Exercise 2JA 925 001 Sailors lower the mine neutralization vehicle (MNV) into the water for mine hunting practice aboard mine countermeasures ship USS Pioneer (MCM 9). (Picture source: US Navy)

MIWEX 2JA is part of an annual series of exercises between the allied navies designed to increase proficiency in mine countermeasure operations.

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

JMSDF Mine Division 3 and U.S. Navy Commander, Mine Countermeasures Squadron 7 will work together throughout the exercise to direct mine hunting tasks for 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.

Participating JMSDF units will include Uraga class mine sweeper tenders JS Uraga (MST-463) and JS Bungo (MST-464)‎, mine sweepers JS Awaji (MSC-304), JS Hirado (MSC-305), JS Miyajima (MSC-690), JS Enoshima (MSC-604), JS Chichijima (MSC-605), JS Naoshima (MSC-684), JS Ukushima (MSC-686), JS Sugashima (MSC-681) JS Aoshima (MSC-689), JS Takashima (MSC-603), JS Yakushima (MSC-602), JS Shishijima (MSC-691) and JS Kuroshima (MSC-692) and P1 and P-3C aircraft.

U.S. units participating include USS Patriot (MCM 7), USS Pioneer (MCM 9) and the staff from Mine Countermeasures Squadron 7.

COMCMRON 7 is forward-deployed to Sasebo, Japan, and consists of Patriot, Pioneer, USS Warrior (MCM 10), and USS Chief (MCM 14) in Sasebo and Helicopter Mine Countermeasures Squadron 14, Detachment 2A based in Pohang, Korea.