You never really know what you’re going
to find on the bottom of the ocean floor. Our job is to enter minefields. Our job is to clear minefields with the
combination of hunting and sweeping. Mines are incredibly cheap and
the threat of a mine alone is enough to halt global shipping. It can take upwards of a week or two to clear a few square miles. For a wooden ship, one of the few
wooden ships in the Navy, the real key here is that we have
to remain non-magnetic in order to make sure that we’re
safe in a minefield. We try to mimic a ship bigger
than us by using our equipment. So we have acoustic devices that can simulate the sound of an engine room or propeller. We also have a magnetic cable that mimics a magnetic signature of a bigger ship. And then we use a remote-operated vehicle operated through our Combat Information Center in order to identify that mine and then neutralize it. All stations, this is the SAG, I have
a contact bearing one zero seven. Range one hundred and forty eight yards. There’s two main types of mines.
You have a moored and a bottom mine. Moored mines are basically all the same. If you run into it, it’ll explode. Bottom mines can be anything
from seismic, if the ship’s wave is causing a big wake and just somehow sets that off. Or if the noise of the engines rumbles down to the bottom of the floor, it could set it off. I’ve flown in areas where the sunlight
didn’t reach the bottom anymore even if it was broad daylight out,
it was pitch black where I was at. For the most part, it’s just looking
at everything at once. And then you kind of eventually
grow eight eyes. It’s a pretty tight room. We got all of our guys next
to each other. You have Sonar. You have Co-Pilot.
You got Classify and Detect. We’re actually not trying to
detonate the mine. We’re trying to recover it. We’ll take it to a mine shop, dismantle it and get some
intelligence out of it. That way we know what our enemy has. It’s very exciting, especially when it’s
the most unexplored area in this world. Like, we’ve explored space more
than we have the ocean floor.