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NEWS | Oct. 27, 2014

USS Chief Trains in Mine Countermeasure Exercise during Clear Horizon

By MC1 (SW/AW) Frank L. Andrew Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Korea Public Affairs

 The Avenger-class mine countermeasures ship USS Chief (MCM 14) completed participation in exercise Clear Horizon, Oct 24.

Clear Horizon is an annual exercise that ran Oct. 20-24 and is designed to increase interoperability in mine countermeasures operations between the U.S. and Republic of Korea navies.

"I am extremely proud of the performance of my crew during exercise Clear Horizon," said Lt. Cmdr. James Correia, commanding officer of USS Chief. "Our crew received some very valuable training during the exercise and we enhanced our ability to operate with our partners in the Republic of Korea navy."

Chief began the exercise by laying training shapes, a non-hazardous cement filled container used to simulate potential mines. Once the shapes were placed in the water, Sailors from Chief, along with their partners from the Republic of Korea navy, began training to detect and engage the training shapes.

"We rehearse a number of different contingencies together," said Mineman 1St Class (SW) Douglas Reynolds, assigned to USS Chief. "In the event mines are laid, we can help our Korean partners clear their waterways faster so the free flow of trade and commerce can continue."

During the five-day exercise, Chief conducted mine countermeasures training in a confined water space along the southern coast of the Korean peninsula along with various types of minesweeping platforms, including remotely operated vehicles, MH-53E Sea Dragon mine clearing helicopters, and minesweeping ships from both nations.

"Even though mine-laying is an old tactic, we still have to know how to neutralize them to ensure our sea lanes remain open in all contingencies," said Reynolds. "That's why we're always training together, and that's what exercise Clear Horizon is all about."

Clear Horizon is one of approximately 20 annual bilateral training exercises held each year between the U.S. and Republic of Korea navies aimed at strengthening the alliance and preserving stability and peace around the Korean peninsula and throughout Northeast Asia.

The U.S. 7th Fleet maintains routine presence in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region to help promote maritime security and develop partnerships with friends and allies. Forward-deployed U.S. naval presence contributes to freedom of navigation, operational readiness, and enables an exchange of culture, skills, and tactical knowledge with nations throughout the region.

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