US Navy conducts submarine-launched mine exercise in Pacific

In the West, we often look at mines as a clearance issue rather than as an offensive capability. Yet that capability remains and COMSUBPAC has announced the completion of a submarine-launched mine exercise in the Hawaiian Operating Area.

Pacific Submarine Force Successfully Completes SLMM-Ex

COMSUBPAC Public Affairs
Release Date: 10/9/2013

(PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii) – The U.S. Navy’s Pacific Submarine Force recently honed its operational proficiency during a Submarine-Launched Mobile Mine Exercise (SLMM-Ex) conducted this week off the coast of Kauai at the Pacific Missile Range Facility (PMRF).

SLMM-Ex was designed to demonstrate the capability of a Los Angeles-class submarine to successfully launch Mk-67 SLMMs used specifically for destroying and/or disrupting enemy ships. The MK-67 SLMM was developed as a submarine-deployed mine for use in areas inaccessible for other mine deployment techniques or for covert mining of hostile environments.

This end-to-end demonstration began with the training of a Los Angeles-class submarine crew to handle and launch Mk 67 SLMMs. The training included SLMM weapons handling and certification using training shapes and walk-through events, including a simulated launch. The exercise culminated in the actual launch of inert Mk 67 SLMM exercise mines off PMRF. Divers from Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit (MDSU) ONE, successfully recovered the exercise mines.

“Conducting exercises like these ensures the operational readiness of the submarine force,” said Rear Adm. Phil Sawyer, Commander Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet. “It further ensures that our submarines stand ready to provide critical access to the world’s ocean trade routes, provide credible defense against any hostile maritime forces, and project power from the sea to the shore when needed.”

The Mk-67 SLMM is a submarine-launched mine in service with the U.S. Navy that consists of a Mk 37 torpedo body with a modified warhead and trigger. The main advantage of the weapon is that the submarine does not have to pass over the area where the mine is to be laid; it is launched as a torpedo and swims to the lay spot.

The Hawaiian Operating Area and training ranges provide Sailors an immensely valuable opportunity to practice and perfect their skills. Nowhere else in the world provides a more realistic, relevant training opportunity. That said, the U.S. Navy takes pride in its environmental stewardship and employs appropriate protective measures in accordance with its permits from the National Marine Fisheries Service and with the Marine Mammal Protection Act and Endangered Species Act. In addition, approved procedures are in place to minimize the potential impact on marine life in the waters in which exercises are conducted.

http://www.csp.navy.mil/releases/release_13037.shtml?story_id=76866

Royal Navy clearance divers dispose of WW2 mine

Still dredging them up after 70-years, still disposing of them safely. BZ to the Southern Diving Group. There’s expertise that can’t be put out to Chinese contract!

World War Two mine destroyed past Plymouth Breakwater

A WORLD War Two mine has been destroyed after being found by a fishing vessel.

A Royal Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) team disposed of the mine in a controlled explosion south of Plymouth Breakwater.

World War Two mine destroyed past Plymouth Breakwater

The explosion took place at 11am today, and Royal Navy EOD divers conducted a survey to establish the success of the operation.

A 1000m cordon was established for the destruction of the mine, which had been recovered by a fishing vessel near Eddystone Light.

If you saw the controlled explosion from the Sound or Plymouth Hoe send your pictures to news@theplymouthherald.co.uk

http://www.plymouthherald.co.uk/World-War-destroyed-past-Plymouth-Breakwater/story-19662798-detail/story.html

OTDIH 2nd August 1943

70-years ago today…

The U-boat war continued:

On 2 August 1943 there were 85 U-boats at sea. Of these, 17 boats (20%) would be lost during their patrol.

U-218 (Kptlt. Richard Becker), a Type VIID U-boat on its fifth war patrol, was attacked by a Wellington bomber from 547 Squadron, RAF Coastal Command. The U-Boat was damaged and 6 crew members were wounded during the attack. The mine-laying patrol was abandoned and the boat returned to Brest. (U-218 was scuttled, post-war, during Operation Deadlight. The wreck was explored by Innes McCartney in June 2001.)

U-653 (Kptlt. Gerhard Feiler), a Type VIIC U-boat on its seventh war patrol, was attacked by an American B-24 Liberator bomber east of Trinidad. The air attack was unsuccessful and the U-boat survived without damage.

The British merchant City of Oran was torpedoed and damaged by U-196 (KrvKpt. Eitel-Friedrich Kentrat), a Type IXD2 U-boat on her first war patrol (225-days!), in the Indian Ocean, approx 100 nm northeast of Memba Bay, Tanganyika. The rescue tug HMS Masterful picked up 86 survivors and scuttled the City of Oran with gunfire.

Arriving on the field of battle:

HMS Begum (D38), an Ameer-class escort carrier, formerly the USS Bolinas (CVE-36), was commissioned into the Royal Navy, Capt. John Egerton Broome, DSC, RN commanding.

And a future President of the United States began his legend:

PT-109, an ELCO ’80 torpedo boat, (Lt jg John Fitzgerald Kennedy, USNR commanding) was rammed and sunk by the Japanese destroyer Amagiri in Blackett Strait, Solomon Islands. JFK would be played by Cliff Robertson in the movie PT-109.