US, UK navies complete mine countermeasure drill in Persian Gulf

Mine countermeasure ships centered around the RFA Cardigan Bay (L3009) steam in formation with two MH-53E Sea Dragon helicopters. Photo: US Navy

Navy ship from the UK and US concluded their regularly scheduled mine warfare drill in the central Persian Gulf on September 21.

Mine Countermeasures Exercise (MCMEX) 17-3 is a quarterly bilateral exercise aimed at ensuring undisturbed operations of naval and support vessels, as well as commercial shipping movements, throughout the maritime domain.

The exercise consisted of mine countermeasures training and a variety of supporting at-sea events. A key portion of the exercise involved the integration of surface and airborne MCM assets.

MH-53E Sea Dragon helicopters from Helicopter Mine Countermeasures Squadron (HM) 15 and Avenger-class mine countermeasures ship USS Sentry (MCM 3) conducted mine hunting and minesweeping operations, locating exercise mines alongside the Royal Navy’s RFA Cardigan Bay, HMS Bangor, HMS Blyth and HMS Ledbury.

“This MCMEX provides a great opportunity for relevant and realistic training,” said Commander, Task Force (TF) 52 Capt. Michael Egan. “It is one of the many exercises we conduct with the United Kingdom and other partner nations in the region, enhancing our collective abilities to conduct integrated multinational mine countermeasures in 5th Fleet.”

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