Santa Rita, Guam - Expeditionary forces from Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United States took part in an opening ceremony for Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) training exercise HYDRACRAB, August 19.
Announced August 14 as forces arrived on Guam, HYDRACRAB is a quadrilateral exercise conducted by more than 100 Sailors from Australia, Canada, New Zealand and U.S. Naval forces. The purpose of this exercise is to prepare the participating EOD forces to operate as an integrated, capable, and potent allied force ready to respond to a changing and complex maritime environment in the Indo-Pacific region.
“The operational environment is changing and the threats continue to increase and become more complex,” said Capt. Oscar Rojas, EOD Group One commanding officer. “It is fitting that HYDRACRAB is to be conducted in Guam. The island of Guam is no stranger to war, and exercising on former and potentially future battle fields better prepares our forces for the challenges of tomorrow.”
According to Rojas, HYDRACRAB will provide the opportunity for all partner nation military forces involved to train and enhance their skills therefore ensuring the citizens of Australia, Canadia, New Zealand and America will pass their current freedoms they enjoy today onto the next generation.
‘We are very excited to host our foreign partners and friends for the inaugural exercise HYDRACRAB 2019,” said Cmdr. Andrew Cook, EOD Mobile Unit 5 commanding officer. “This exercise serves as a unique opportunity to share tactics, techniques and procedures with integrated maritime and air assets that will help increase our collective warfighting effectiveness.”
During the exercise, forces will combine to practice a wide range of expeditionary competencies to include visit, board, search, and seizure (VBSS), land and sea insertion techniques, joint demolition operations, small arms proficiency, counter improvised explosive device (CIED) operations and anti-terrorism force protection (ATFP) diving operations.
Representing U.S. forces are personnel from Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit 5, Coastal Riverine Squadron 2, assigned to Coastal Riverine Group 1 Detachment Guam, III Marine Expeditionary Forces, 36th Civil Engineering Squadron and Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 25.
U.S. 7th Fleet provides security alongside allies and partners throughout a free and open Indo- Pacific. As the U.S. Navy's largest forward-deployed fleet, 7th Fleet operates roughly 50-70 ships and submarines and 140 aircraft with approximately 20,000 Sailors.