Activities taking place under the New Zealand led Mine Counter Measures and Diving Exercise (MCMEX 14) are gaining momentum as the tenth day dawns on 14 participating teams. The day started with an impressive display of Pouncer operations, with divers taking to the water from a Royal New Zealand Armed Forces (RNZAF) Iroquois helicopter.
Today’s scenario saw the diving teams attach simulated explosives to a surface mine and rushing back to the aircraft. In addition, Autonomous Underwater Vehicles joined the search for dummy mines laid for the exercise, while demolitions specialists let off some bang at the controlled outdoor range, the Navy said via social media.
A task group, comprising HMNZS MANAWANUI, HMNZS CANTERBURY, HMAS GASCOYNE and ROKS WONSON sailed from Devonport Navy Base on Monday heading out to Whangaparaoa region, where they will engage in humanitarian aid and disaster relief operations, during the second phase of the exercise.
The exercise, which began on February 17, 2014, will test participating nations’ ability to come together and respond to a humanitarian emergency in the Pacific, through a range of scenarios set in Auckland Harbour and the Hauraki Gulf from February 17 – March 7, 2014.
MCMEX 14 scenarios have been drawn from recent humanitarian aid and disaster relief events such as the 2009 Samoan tsunami and the Christchurch earthquake in 2011.
Naval Today Staff, February 26, 2014, Image: New Zealand Navy