U.S. Navy Hosts Mine Warfare Staff Talks with Japanese Navy
By Lt. Taylor Searcy, Mine Countermeasures Squadron 7 Public Affairs
OKINAWA, Japan - Commander, Amphibious Force 7th Fleet, Commander, Mine Countermeasures Squadron (MCMRON) 7, and Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force Commander (JMSDF), Mine Warfare Force and subordinate commands concluded a three day mine warfare staff conference March 1 at CTF 76 headquarters, Okinawa

The event was hosted by Mine Countermeasures Squadron Seven and was attended by JMSDF Mine Divisions and units, including JS Uraga, JS Hachijou, and JS Takashima.

During the past several years, Mine Countermeasures Squadron Seven and JMSDF Mine Warfare Force have participated in numerous bilateral exercises centering on mine clearance operations and mine countermeasures in support of amphibious operations.

"This was a very important meeting with a great exchange of ideas and information," said Rear Adm. Shinichi Tokumaru, commander, Mine Warfare Force. "We look forward to continuing our strong relationship with CTF 76 and increasing our involvement with amphibious operations."

The staff talks provided a forum to discuss coordination and training between U.S. and JMSDF Mine Warfare forces as well as Amphibious Warfare operations.

"I truly believe we had a productive and informative dialogue with our mine warfare counterparts," said Capt. Mark Truluck, commander, Mine Countermeasures Squadron Seven. "These Staff Talks only help strengthen our bond with our Japanese mine force partners, and I know future coordination between our staffs and subordinate units will be enhanced."

The three day event included a tour of JS Uraga and United States Marine base Camp Courtney, where the 3rd Marine Expeditionary Brigade provided an overview of US Marine Corp capabilities to junior JMSDF officers and enlisted personnel. Additionally, more than 80 Sailors from both nations participated in a tournament-style softball game and barbecue, serving traditional American and Japanese cuisine.

MCMRON 7, commanded by Capt. Mark Truluck, is a combined readiness and tactical staff responsible for mine countermeasures in the 7th Fleet Area of Responsibility. The squadron consists of four Avenger class minesweepers forward deployed to Sasebo, Japan and a helicopter mine countermeasures detachment in Pohang, South Korea.
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