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.” 


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Ellen Bullock