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March 29, 2014

Dear Shipmates,


It is with deep regret that I report the passing on March 28th 2014 of a comrade, known to most of us. Jim Miller called me this morning with the sad news that long-time AOM member, MNC Billy Bash died in a San Diego hospital.

 After a fall while headed to IHOP with his wife, Clare, Billy was hospitalized. Other complications hastened his death. He will be greatly missed.



Billy's retirement, 1980



Billy so was proud of his tattoo of a dragon that he showed it off

 to the  doctors and nurses at the hospital, days before he died.


Arrangements have not been made but inurnment is expected to be held at Ft. Rosecrans National Cemetery, San Diego, in the future. Cards, phone calls and e-mails of condolence may be sent to Billy's widow, Clare Bash at:

3674 Gatty St.

San Diego, CA 92154-1639

Phone (619) 424-9417   -  e-mail:



In conjunction with the US Naval Institute, the Mine Warfare Association is holding an essay contest. George Pollitt of the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory has announced a call for papers that: "... encourage an ongoing discussion concerning the strategic impact of mining, mine countermeasures operations, unmanned vehicle utilization in mine warfare, new technologies that could improve mining or mine countermeasures, and improved concepts of operations."


Entry information and details may be found at: The U.S.N.I web site


[Contributed by Ron Swart]



Mines remain a significant asymmetrical threat presenting anti-access challenges that can disrupt our ability to execute our mission. The FY 2015 Mine Warfare budget reflects planned improvements to existing air and surface Mine Countermeasure (MCM) forces, enhancing both capability and capacity needed to meet near-term critical requirements as well as begins the transition to the future organic/LCS-based MCM Mission Package systems with delivery of the first increment of capabilities. The Navy remains committed to fielding and delivering the future MCM force that will transform the Navy from the platform-centered legacy force to a capability-centered force that is distributed, networked, and able to provide unique maritime influence and access across the entire maritime domain. FY 2015 continues to provide additional capability and capacity for CENTCOM MCM Urgent Operational Needs to mitigate mine warfare Anti-Access/Area-Denial challenges in the Arabian Gulf. The Afloat Forward Staging Base-Interim will act as a mission support vessel in the Fifth Fleet Area of Responsibility.


The Mine Countermeasures program continues development of mine warfare systems for the Fleet and for the LCS MCM mission package. Employed from the MH-60S, the Airborne Laser Mine Detection System (ALMDS) uses a laser imaging detection and ranging blue-green laser to detect, localize and classify near surface, moored sea mines. The Airborne Mine Neutralization System (AMNS) is an expendable, remotely operated mine neutralization device that will reacquire and neutralize previously identified targets, using the Archerfish Common Mine Neutralizer against bottom and in volume sea mines. The Remote Mine Hunting System (RMS), used on LCS, uses a robust unmanned, semi-submersible, semiautonomous vehicle that can be adapted to a broad spectrum of applications and missions, including towing the AN/AQS-20 variable-depth sensors to detect, localize, classify and identify undersea threats at a safe distance from friendly ships.

EOD Mine Countermeasures personnel directly support mine-hunting and clearance operations. The Mk 18 Mod 2 Unmanned Underwater Vehicle (UUV) provides increased area coverage, increased endurance and higher resolution imagery. Significant investments in FY 2015 Mine Countermeasures programs, systems and equipment increase capabilities to address future mine warfare challenges.
[Further details at Navy web site - Contributed by Don Jones]