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.
Department of Defense PIN 34761.
70 vessels from Russia’s Pacific Fleet have joined “snap” military exercises ordered by President Vladimir Putin to test combat readiness.
The “surprise” military exercise may also be seen as sabre rattling (shouldn’t that be cutlass rattling for the navy?) by neighbours around the Pacific Rim and comes hard on the heels of joint naval exercises conducted by Russia and China.
Massive Snap Military Drills Begin In Eastern Russia
MOSCOW, July 13 (RIA Novosti) – The Russian military began early on Saturday large-scale exercises in the Eastern Military District aimed at improving combat readiness of the Russian armed forces, the Defense Ministry said.
The exercise, which involves over 80,000 servicemen, some 1,000 armored vehicles, 130 aircraft and 70 warships from the Pacific Fleet, will continue until July 20. It is the largest surprise check of combat readiness of the Russian military in the post-Soviet period.
“The main goal of the drills is to check the readiness of units to carry out their missions, and to assess the quality of their training and technical preparedness,” the ministry said in a statement.
The snap drills were ordered by President Vladimir Putin on Friday when he told Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu to inform foreign countries about the upcoming exercises, taking into account their scale and common international practice.
It is the third surprise check of combat readiness since the beginning of the year and follows a major shake-up at the top of a military establishment tarnished by persistent evidence of rampant corruption.
Putin said in May that surprise military drills is a perfect way to keep the armed forces in good shape and vowed to continue similar practices in the future.
The Eastern Military District is one of the four operational strategic commands of the Russian Armed Forces. The district was formed in 2010. It absorbed the territories of the former Far East Military District and part of the former Siberian Military District with headquarters at Khabarovsk.