Northwest NEWS

August 19, 2002


Carnation sailor keeps eyes on the shores

by Wayne Howlett
   Navy Public Affairs Center, San Diego
   In today's hostile times, the United States military continues protecting the freedoms this country was founded on. U.S. service members fighting the war against terrorism in foreign lands make sure America's new war doesn't hit home again.
   However, the access to advanced technology that many countries now have can leave American borders and freedoms at risk. Navy Mobile Inshore Undersea Warfare Units (MIUWU) protect shoreline areas from enemy filtration.
   Navy Seaman Phillip A. Floyd is a gunner's mate for MIUWU 101 based in Everett. He maintains command weapons and trains unit personnel in weapons proficiency and qualification.
   Floyd, the 24-year-old son of Katherine J. Floyd of Carnation, is part of a unit whose presence can help prevent conflict.
   "It's important for us to deploy in order to enforce and protect the policies and rights of the United States," Floyd said.
   MIUWUs, first developed in the 1960s, use a system which picks up underwater bouy signals and transmits them by radio. Using this system, they can detect the presence of enemy divers and submarines.
   Originally, MIUWUs consisted of three or four boxes containing a passive sonobouy readout system and radars which were mounted on different trucks. Later, more compact versions of the equipment could be installed in one van.
   By the 1970s, radar/sonar surveillance centers were developed and outfitted with advanced radars, acoustic sonobuoy processors and wheeled equipment. Equipped with wheeled carriages and collapsible antennas, these new improvements made the facilities mobile and they were redesignated MIUWU.
   There are currently 14 MIUWUs stationed in cities throughout the U.S., such as Portland, Oakland and Dallas. These specialized units were used in the 1990s during Operation Desert Storm and are currently used in defense of U.S. shores.
   Floyd, a three-year Navy veteran, feels it is very important to deploy MIUWUs.
   "Due to the realization that a higher state of security enforcement was needed, the United States deployed units like ours," he said. "We assist in bringing up our current assets so we may achieve our mission."
   Being assigned to special units such as MIUWU 101 can have many advantages. Travel, education and enlistment bonuses are some of the opportunities awaiting dedicated sailors.
   "I came in the Navy because I wanted to be involved in the military," he said. "Being in the military has heightened my sense of self-worth."