According to statement of 7th Fleet oh the U.S. Navy, U.S. Navy personnel assigned to Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit (EODMU) 5 and their Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) EOD counterparts completed Mine Warfare Exercise (MIWEX) 2JA 2019, July 29.
MIWEX 2JA is an annual bilateral exercise held between the US and Japan to improve skkils in mine countermeasure operations.
“The experience of working alongside the Japanese has been excellent,” said Lt. Andrew Kuo, EODMU 5 Platoon 501’s commander. “They’re a very professional force and are very competent at what they do, and we learned a lot from them and they learned a lot from us. As the exercises have gone on, the relationship has grown. I hope it continues to go that way in the future.”
The various set of mine countermeasures assets executed a wide range of mine neutralization activities. The participating EOD assets aboard the JMSDF Uraga class minesweeper tender JS Bungo (MST 464) practiced unit-level mine countermeasures tactics to include sweeping, hunting, and neutralization using remotely operated vehicles, sonar, and sweep gear.
EOD personnel conducted dive and small boat operations from JMSDF ships and U.S. ships in support of mine countermeasures efforts.
The exercise culminated in a combined phase during which U.S. and JMSDF personnel coordinated and communicated to clear a route for ships through a simulated minefield in one of the designated exercise areas.