March 09, 2005

Minehunters adopt names

By Christopher Munsey
NavyTimes staff writer

In an attempt to bolster morale and create increased unit cohesiveness in the Sea Swap-era Navy, the coastal minehunters are turning to a few good names.
When Mine Warfare Command out of Ingleside, Texas, sends a minehunter crew forward to Bahrain for a crew swap, the ship’s company goes forward as a crew named in honor of the old class of ocean minesweepers.

The latest crew swap involved Coastal Mine Hunter Crew “Inflict” relieving MHC Crew “Prestige” aboard Raven, a coastal mine hunter, on March 5 in Bahrain.

That crew swap was preceded by the turnover of crews for mine countermeasures ship Ardent, coastal mine hunter Cardinal and mine countermeasures ship Dextrous Feb. 12-26 in Bahrain.

For those swaps, Mine Countermeasure Crew “Bulwark” relieved MCM Crew “Conflict”; MHC Crew “Valor” relieved MHC Crew “Aggressive”, and MCM Crew “Swerve” relieved MCM Crew “Fearless

The first round of mine hunter crew swaps took place in August. By swapping crews, vessels are kept forward-deployed longer.

MHC Crew Inflict trained at Naval Station Ingleside, Texas, for the past 18 months to get ready for the deployment. While they trained, they took the name Inflict in January as a way to promote crew cohesiveness, since the vessel they trained on wouldn’t be the same one they deployed on.

Crews picked the names from old ocean minesweeper names in January, said Fifi Kieschnick, spokeswoman for Ingleside.

“It’s to help instill a sense of unit integrity and esprit de corps,” Kieschnick said.

Mine hunter and mine countermeasures crews train in the Ingleside area, then travel to Bahrain and start a six-month deployment after a week-long transition with the previous crew.

Raven, Ardent, Cardinal and Dextrous are forward deployed in the Persian Gulf, participating in the maritime security operation overseen by Fifth Fleet. While deployed, the crews help with anti-terrorism/force protection, do boardings, protect oil platforms and deter piracy.

The NMSOA (Navy MSO Association) and the crews of the Ocean MineSweepers thank the Mine Warfare Command and the Mine hunter and mine countermeasures crews for this great honor.

Web Master Rick Szpyrka