UV - Unmanned Vehicles

Shallow water MCM carried out at AECE 2019

18th September 2019 - 13:30 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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The US Navy’s Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit One (EODMU-1) has tested its ability to operate UUVs and conduct expeditionary mine countermeasures in very shallow Arctic water.

Operating as Combined Task Group 35.1, the unit ran the tests in early September in waters off of Adak, Alaska, in support of Arctic Expeditionary Capabilities Exercise (AECE) 2019.

Shallow waters of 10-40ft with limited underwater visibility pose an increased threat to troops during landing operations. To test its ability to safely operate in these conditions, an expeditionary mine countermeasure (ExMCM) company attached to EODMU-1 worked together in a man-machine team with the Mk 18 Mod 1 Swordfish and Mk 18 Mod 2 Kingfish UUVs to ensure the very shallow water zone was free of hazards.

The UUVs were used to conduct mine hunting, hydrographic surveys and intelligence preparation of the operational environment.

Cmdr Brian Reitter, commanding officer of EODMU1, said: ‘Navy EOD is only EOD force that can clear underwater hazards, making the force a crucial enabler for the navy and marine corps team to be able to maneouver where they want to, when they want to. We are excited about the training and evaluation opportunities this exercise has afforded us, and we can’t thank the local Adak community enough for hosting us here.’

About 3,000 US Navy and Marine Corps personnel are participating in AECE 2019 in the Aleutian Islands and south-central Alaska throughout September.

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