NORFOLK, Va. (NNS) -- The Naval Mine and Anti-Submarine Warfare Command (NMAWC) conducted a synthetic underwater mine-clearing exercise in support of exercise Bold Alligator 2012 (BA12) at Naval Warfare Development Command onboard Naval Station Norfolk Feb 3.
BA12 is the East Coast's largest joint and multinational amphibious assault exercise in 10 years and is an opportunity for NMAWC mine warfare battle staff to integrate with a combined force maritime component commander to support amphibious operations by mitigating and disabling underwater anti-access/area-denial efforts. The exercise reinforces the role mine countermeasure forces play in enabling Marine Corps' forces to launch ashore.
"It's extraordinarily valuable that the Navy and Marine Corps' team, as sister services, conduct this exercise," Rear Adm. (select) Ken Perry, vice commander, NMAWC and the mine warfare commander of Bold Alligator. "This is to regenerate that partnership and renew those capabilities as sister services, to train as we operate. It's really very valuable."
NMAWC's mission includes providing mine warfare commander battle staff to support operational maritime component commanders in executing operational control of air, surface and underwater mine countermeasure forces.
During Bold Alligator, as the Mine Warfare commander, Perry coordinates the efforts of more than 320 mine warfare Sailors across several U.S. and coalition platforms and units.
Mine warfare forces participating in the exercise include Mine Countermeasures Squadron 3, Mine Countermeasures Division 31, Helicopter Mine Countermeasures Squadron 14, Mine Warfare platoons from Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Units 1, 6, 12; as well as Naval Oceanography Mine Warfare Center's Unmanned Underwater Vehicle (UUV) Platoon and the Naval Oceanographic Office's Data Fusion Cell.
Lt. Cmdr. Tyrone David, the Canadian liaison officer for the exercise, said that operating with Canadian and United Kingdom dive units and UUVs increases U.S. and coalition mine warfare proficiency. "We train as we fight. It's a tremendous rehearsal for real-life operations."
Divers operated from Canadian Kingston Class coastal defense vessels HMCS Summerside (MM 711) and HMCS Moncton (MM 708).
BA12 will be a live and synthetic, scenario-driven, simulation-supported exercise designed to train Expeditionary Strike Group 2, Second Marine Expeditionary Brigade (2nd MEB) and Carrier Strike Group 12. Staffs will plan and execute a MEB-sized amphibious assault from a seabase in a medium land-and-maritime threat environment to improve naval amphibious core competencies.
The exercise is in its second week and will run through Feb. 12, ashore and afloat, in and off the coasts of Virginia, North Carolina and Florida.
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