In this file photo, Explosive Ordnance Disposal technicians, assigned to Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit (EODMU) 5, swim the ocean floor of the Orote Peninsula during a joint diving exercise with Sri Lanka navy personnel off the coast of Guam, April 14, 2016. EODMU 5 sailors, and Sri Lanka navy divers have combined in past military exercises as part of a coordinated effort by Commander, Task Force (CTF) 75 to strengthen U.S. and foreign relationships. (Photo by U.S. Navy Combat Camera photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Alfred A. Coffield)
GUAM - Nine Western Pacific Naval Symposium (WPNS) nations commenced a disaster response-focused exercise, the Western Pacific Naval Symposium Diving Exercise (WPNS-DIVEX) 2017, on June 5.
Western Pacific Naval Symposium Diving Exercise 2017 is a biennial diving exercise conducted by WPNS nations to enhance cooperation, interoperability, and tactical proficiency in diving operations. The last DIVEX was held in Singapore in 2015.
“The fact that this year’s DIVEX 17 simulates a military assistance humanitarian response to a catastrophic natural disaster is a significant milestone,” said Rear Adm. Shoshana Chatfield, commander, Joint Region Marianas, “The skills we practice during this exercise have global indications when it comes to our ability to rapidly deploy and work together.”
During the exercise, participating units will respond to a scenario that mirrors a coordinated response to a natural disaster. Participating diving units of WPNS nations will be tasked to conduct undersea geographic assessments in order to reopen ports so that humanitarian aid can commence.
Participating nations include Australia, Canada, Chile, Indonesia, Japan, Republic of Korea, Singapore, United Kingdom, and the United States.