UK, US Navy Conduct Mine Countermeasures Exercise

A combined US/UK task group recently finished a Mine Countermeasure (MCM) exercise in the Persian Gulf. 

The scenario for the exercise was to clear ports of mines thereby allowing civilian vessels to pass through.

The task group was commanded by Commander Paul Ottewell, Royal Navy, and made up of US Mine Countermeasure Vessels (MCMVs) USS Gladiator and USS Devastator and Royal Navy MCMVs HMS Bangor, HMS Chiddingfold and HMS Penzance.

They were supported by USS Ponce, the Afloat Forward Support Base, which provided a helicopter platform, as well as divers and a US Navy Mine Hunting Unit (MHU), which used unmanned surface vessels to scan the seabed using an advanced sonar.

Commander Paul Ottewell said: “Although both the US Navy and the Royal Navy are rightly proud of their MCM capabilities, it is imperative that we continue to prove that both navies can operate successfully together in a complex and dynamic environment.

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