In recent years numerous articles have been published about mine warfare (MIW), some in Proceedings, that may give the impression that a dedicated mine warfare force is no longer needed and will soon go the way of the blimp. Meanwhile, the Navy has modified several Arleigh Burke-class destroyers with the AN/WLD-1 remote minehunting system (RMS). The problem is that this gives a false and dangerous impression that the RMS is a total mine countermeasures, or MCM, package. While very capable of executing its minehunting function, the RMS is in no way equipped to complete the entire MCM problem. This is a dangerous mindset and one that needs to be addressed.
To appreciate some of the problems with the current direction the Navy has chosen for mine warfare, a few points need to be understood.