Royal UK Navy divers from Portsmouth based Fleet Diving Unit 2 have been working alongside international partner nations performing mine countermeasures (MCM) during the biennial Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) Exercise 2014.
Together with divers from the US, Royal Australian, Royal Canadian, Chilean, Japanese, Royal Netherlands and Royal New Zealand Navies they have been operating in, and around, San Diego Harbour, enhancing their skills in disposing of ordnance in the sea at night.
Heading up the British dive team is Lieutenant Sean “Central” Heaton, he said: “RIMPAC has been a truly unique experience as we’ve had so many diverse nations come together and jointly tackle a task. It is particularly challenging working in the dark but all British Divers are training to be able to do all operations with no visibility at all. Using Autonomous Underwater Vehicles to find mines discreetly by day, we then use diver placed charges to neutralise them by night.”
“There are many positive reasons for taking part in this exercise; a key one is proving our ability to interoperate and conduct complex MCM operations together.”
RIMPAC 2014 covers a massive area of the Pacific, from Hawaii to the west coast of California. Hosted by the US Pacific Fleet it involves 22 nations, more than 50 ships and submarines, 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel.