USS Pioneer Returns to San Diego
After completing an 11-month deployment to the U.S. 5th Fleet Area of Responsibility (AOR), Mine Countermeasures Ship USS Pioneer (MCM 9) was offloaded from heavy-lift ship, MV Super Servant 3 at Naval Base San Diego this week.
In addition to Pioneer, three other San Diego-based MCMs departed Southern California last year in response to a request from U.S. Central Command for additional mine countermeasures assets in the theater.
USS Devastator (MCM 6) and USS Sentry (MCM 3) remain deployed to 5th Fleet and will participate in International Mine Countermeasures Exercise (IMCMEX) 2013 this month. USS Warrior (MCM 10) completed a 5th Fleet deployment and was heavy-lifted from Bahrain with Pioneer in March. Warrior was delivered to her new homeport of Sasebo, Japan as the replacement for the decommissioned USS Guardian (MCM 5), and is currently assigned to U.S. 7th Fleet in support of mine warfare missions.
While in 5th Fleet, Pioneer conducted mine warfare operations and exercises—including the first IMCMEX in September 2012, and training mineshape recovery operations in the Gulf of Aden.
Pioneer will remain in San Diego to meet U.S. 3rd Fleet mine warfare mission requirements.