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SPLIT, Croatia - The Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Team assigned to Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 10 took part in the eighth iteration of the Humanitarian Mine Action (HMA) in Split, Croatia, Oct. 24 – Nov. 11, 2022.
HMA is a Department of State-led initiative to increase partner nation capabilities in the areas of de-mining, stockpile management, and EOD training.
“This training enhanced the ordnance-handling capabilities of our allies and furthered important diplomatic goals regarding mine warfare,” said Lt. Andrew Sikora. “Ensuring allies’ abilities to properly manage ordnance and advancing de-mining objectives is an important humanitarian mission across several U.S. Navy areas of responsibility.”
This joint humanitarian effort strengthened the relationship between the U.S. and Croatia, and improved overall interoperability between the U.S. and allied military and diplomatic operations.
“This exchange with the U.S. EOD team will leave both nations more capable at handling the unique challenges of ordnance and mine warfare,” said Corvette Lieutenant Ivo Birimiša, a member of the Croatian EOD Diving Platoon. “We are excited to take this knowledge and utilize it across our force.”
HMA is an ongoing program to provide training to allies to safely dispose of existing landmines and explosive remnants of war. The course covered advanced EOD techniques, detailed ordnance classes, render-safe procedures, and demolition operations, along with practical application on live ordnance, with the goal of certifying allied EOD teams to fully comply with international mine action standards.
CSG-10’s EOD team successfully trained Croatian service members to perform HMA actions mitigating the effects of unexploded ordnance on civilian and military personnel.
The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) is the flagship of CSG-10, George H.W. Bush Carrier Strike Group (GHWB CSG). CSG-10 is comprised of George H.W. Bush, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 7, Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 26, the Information Warfare Commander, and the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Leyte Gulf (CG 55).
The ships of DESRON 26 within CSG-10 are the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers USS Nitze (DDG 94), USS Farragut (DDG 99), USS Truxtun (DDG 103), and USS Delbert D. Black (DDG 119).
The squadrons of CVW-7 embarked aboard George H.W. Bush are the “Sidewinders” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 86, the “Jolly Rogers” of VFA-103, “Nighthawks” of VFA-136, the “Pukin Dogs” of VFA-143, the “Bluetails” of Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 121, the “Patriots” of Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 140, the “Nightdippers” of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 5, and the “Grandmasters” of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 46.
The GHWBCSG is on a scheduled deployment in the U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa area of operations, employed by U.S. Sixth Fleet to defend U.S., allied, and partner interests.
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