Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Korea (CNFK) and the Republic of Korea navy (ROKN), joined 10 United Nations Sending States in the fifth annual United Nations Command (UNC) Naval Component Mine Countermeasures Symposium.
This two-day symposium aimed at improving joint interoperability in mine countermeasure operations and strengthening the bond between UNC sending states.
“I want to thank those of you who travelled from afar to be with us here today,” said Rear Adm. Michael E. Boyle, commander, U.S. Naval Forces Korea. “In particular, I would like to thank all United Nations Command Sending States in attendance: Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Italy, New Zealand, Philippines, Thailand, Turkey, and the United Kingdom .”
The symposium is a shared forum for all the sending states to come together and share ideas on mine countermeasure warfare.
“We have truly assembled an all-star cast of operators; the level of mine warfare expertise present in this room is truly impressive,” said Boyle. “In the face of common challenges, we must continue to work together to hone our warfighting edge—your contributions will ensure that our units receive high-end training designed to improve our advanced combat skills and become a more capable, more interoperable, and more effective force.”
During the symposium, members discussed topics including sustainment of MCM forces at sea and a case study on mine warfare efforts in the Persian Gulf.
“When you put all of these representatives in the same room you can begin to build bonds with each other,” said Lt. Cmdr. Sean Jin, CNFK’s N7a in Theater Security Cooperation and Engagement. “This will make it easier to operate together when we’re in the same waters together.”
The final event of the symposium was a wreath-laying ceremony held at the UN Memorial Cemetery of Korea where the UNSS attendees honored the sacrifice of the service members, from 21 different sending states, who fought during the Korean War.lee
CNFK is the United Nations Command Naval Component Commander during armistice. The U.S. and the UNC Sending States navies routinely plan, exchange information, train and operate together to strengthen coordination and improve combined capabilities.