Mine countermeasures exercise
An MH-60S Sea Hawk attached to Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 21 hovers in Pyramid Cove as a mine is destroyed. Navy photo

A joint team from the Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard practiced mine laying and clearing operations this week off San Clemente Island. 

Each morning over a five-day period beginning Monday, Navy F/A-18 Super Hornets and Air Force B-1B Lancer bombers laid mines.

Then a mine countermeasures team deployed unmanned underwater vehicles to find and track the mines, which were destroyed by Navy helicopters in live-fire exercises.

The efforts were supported by the littoral combat ship USS Kansas City and a Coast Guard patrol boat, which kept the live-fire area clear.

“The MCM Live Fire provided our teams with realistic, relevant training,” said Capt. Ryan Ventresca, commander of Mine Countermeasures Group 3. “Our joint, multi-domain forces integrated to rehearse a critical capability and complex skillset.” 

The training comes as Russian has mined the Black Sea during it’s war against Ukraine and amid worries that China may use mines to blockade Taiwan.

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.