NEWS | Nov. 16, 2017

Naval Surface and Mine Warfighting Center Leads U.S. Effort for 34th Annual Combined Mine Warfare Staff Talks

Naval Surface and Mine Warfighting Development Center

CHINHAE, Republic of Korea -- Rear Adm. John Wade, commander, Naval Surface and Mine Warfighting Development Center (SMWDC), met with Republic of Korea (ROK) Navy Rear Adm. Kim, Jong Sam, commander, ROK Flotilla 5, and other U.S. and ROK service members for mine warfare staff talks Nov. 7-11.

The meeting between ROK and U.S. mine warfare commanders and staffs provides a venue for to review areas of interoperability between the forces and identify opportunities for increased cooperation.

These meetings not only improve coordination and cooperation between the forces, but they also provide a platform from which both sides can provide feedback and review lessons learned from previous exercises.

“These talks are an essential part of both of our Navy’s ability to work together in a cooperative way to enhance security and stability in a complex operating environment,” said Wade, who is also the U.S. Navy’s Global Mine Warfare Commander. “It is critical that we continue these efforts to protect the U.S. and her allies from attack, ensure freedom of the seas, and preserve our strategic influence in the region.”

At the conclusion of the week-long discussions, Wade and Kim formally signed the annual staff talk’s minutes which highlight this year’s discussion topics and outline goals for the upcoming year that will strengthen the US-ROK Navy alliance.

Before returning to SMWDC headquarters in San Diego, California, Wade and his staff visited the Joint Security Area (JSA) for a tour of the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) Nov. 11 in Seoul to better their understanding of the Korean Theater.

SMWDC is one of the Navy's five Warfighting Development Centers and fills an integral role in the Surface Force Strategy: Return to Sea Control. SMWDC's mission is to increase the lethality and tactical proficiency of the surface force across all domains.