Four U.S. Navy mine countermeasures (MCM) ships arrived in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations aboard M/V Tern, June 23.

USS Sentry (MCM 3), USS Devastator (MCM 6), USS Pioneer (MCM 9) and USS Warrior (MCM 10) were transported from San Diego aboard M/V Tern to support a U.S. Central Command request for additional MCM assets in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility.

MCM ships conduct operations with coalition forces in order to ensure the continued, safe flow of maritime traffic in international waterways.

The arrival of the MCMs, and the additional capability and capacity they provide, offer greater opportunities for cooperation with regional partners.

The MCM ships are scheduled for a seven-month deployment with rotational crews from San Diego to provide continuous manning.

The U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility encompasses about 2.5 million square miles of water area and includes the Arabian Gulf, Gulf of Oman, Red Sea, and parts of the Indian Ocean. This expanse, comprised of 20 countries, includes three critical choke points at the Strait of Hormuz, the Suez Canal and the Strait of Bab al Mandeb at the southern tip of Yemen.