International EOD Teams Work Together for International Mine Countermeasure Exercise

Greetings, Readers! For the past two weeks in Aqaba, Jordan, the members of Combined Task Group-522.3 have been working hard, and are now looking to close-out International Mine Countermeasures Exercise (IMCMEX) with a bang. Clearance Divers from the British Royal Navy’s Fleet Diving Unit 3, United States Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) technicians from Platoon 341 assigned to Carrier Strike Group 1, and members of the Jordanian Royal Naval Force have been working together to refine their collective and respective mine countermeasure (MSM) operations. CTG 56.1 Operations/ International Mine Countermeasure exercise

In the joint environment of IMCMEX, the teams have been utilizing shared ideas provided by mine specialists, diving teams of EOD experts, unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs), and a wide range of other tools in order to enhance and improve MCM techniques. These exercises also serve to strengthen the bonds between the U.S., U.K., and Jordanian forces.

“IMCMEX is important to reinforce relationships with allies in the Middle East to prove our combined resolve to work together efficiently and effectively to create maritime security,” said Commander Chris O’Flaherty of the British Royal Navy, commander of Task Group 522.3. “A force is always more effective when everyone pulls in the same direction. This exercise has proved that divers from many nations share [information on] interoperability, equipment and procedures to create a significant coalition ability to deliver maritime security.”

Not only has IMCMEX provided an excellent training opportunity, but fortunately for CTG-522.3, that training has been conducted in picturesque Aqaba. “The best part of the exercise has been being able to dive in the Gulf of Aqaba,” says Michael Brown, a clearance diver from the British Royal Navy’s Fleet Diving Unit 3.

“This is some of the clearest water we’ve ever had a chance to dive in, and that always makes our job more enjoyable.”

 International Mine Countermeasures Exercise (IMCMEX)This year, IMCMEX includes a quarter of the world’s navies participating including 6,500 Sailors from every region. It is the largest international naval exercise promoting maritime security and the free-flow of trade through MCM, maritime security operations, and maritime infrastructure protection in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility and throughout the world.

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A Brief History: USS Nimitz

USS-Nimitz-9

Each of our naval vessles has a rich history. What they’ve done, where they’ve been, and who they were named after. To begin what I hope to be a series that covers our carrier and expeditionary strike groups, the flagship of the Nimitz CSG is first on our list. Here to talk about this fine piece of engineering, is the commanding officer, Capt. Jeff Ruth.

–Fleet LT

7027737895_f138f3658e_cUSS Nimitz (CVN 68) is the U.S. Navy’s oldest aircraft carrier in active service, and she is now operating in the Arabian Gulf.

Our legacy comes from the rich history of Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, and the long service of the ship—the lead in the Nimitz class of aircraft carriers. Both the man and the ship share deep roots in tradition, dedication and service to the United States Navy.

Chester_Nimitz_as_CNOFleet Admiral Chester William Nimitz, USN (February 24, 1885 – February 20, 1966) was a five-star admiral in the United States Navy. He held the dual command of Commander in Chief, United States Pacific Fleet, for U.S. naval forces and Commander in Chief, Pacific Ocean Areas, for U.S. and Allied air, land, and sea forces during World War II. He was the leading U.S. Navy authority on submarines, as well as Chief of the Navy’s Bureau of Navigation in 1939. He served as Chief of Naval Operations from 1945 until 1947. He was the United States’ last surviving Fleet Admiral.

8703363020_efd7256684_zHis rise to Fleet Admiral was not without hiccups. While he was an ensign in command of the destroyer USS Decatur, the ship ran aground on a sand bar in the Philippines. The ship was pulled free, however, Nimitz was court-martialed, found guilty of neglect of duty and issued a letter of reprimand. He obviously recovered from that misstep and continued to develop as a leader, encouraging his men to question authority, while telling them to not worry about what they could not control, and to learn everything they could about their job.
A few of my favorite quotes from Admiral Nimitz:

  • 6989928362_08dc58e3ed_zGod grant me the courage not to give up what I think is right even though I think it is hopeless.
  • Our present control of the sea is so absolute that it is sometimes taken for granted.
  • Among the Americans serving on Iwo island, uncommon valor was a common virtue.

USS Nimitz was commissioned on May 3, 1975 by Rear Adm. Richard E. Rumble, Commander, Fifth Naval District, at Pier 12, Naval Station Norfolk, Va. with President Gerald R. Ford and more than 20,000 guests in attendance. Nimitz’ commissioning marked the beginning of a new “Nimitz class” of aircraft carriers.

7136736685_bbe778571b_zNimitz has been called upon many times to deploy around the world to support both war and peace efforts. The men and women who have ensured the continued success of this ship and her missions have done so through great effort and dedication to their work and to their country. No matter the generation, no matter the mission, Nimitz Sailors have answered the call, and we couldn’t be more proud to be conducting our current mission here in the NAVCENT AOR.

Now, as ever, teamwork is our tradition.
-Capt. Jeff Ruth, Commanding Officer, USS Nimitz (CVN 68)