US, Royal Navy conclude mine countermeasure drill in Persian Gulf

Illustration: US, UK and French Navy mine countermeasure ships underway in the Persian Gulf during an earlier mine countermeasure exercise. Photo: US Navy

The US Navy and Royal Navy completed a UK/US mine countermeasures exercise (MCMEX) in the central Persian Gulf on December 7.

This quarterly event doubled as the certification for the staff of Commander, Task Force (CTF) 52 by Surface Mine Warfighting Development Center.

The exercise involved a range of training and a variety of supporting at-sea events. MH-53E Sea Dragon helicopters from Helicopter Mine Countermeasures Squadron (HM) 15 and the Avenger-class mine countermeasures ship USS Gladiator (MCM 11) conducted mine hunting operations alongside Royal Navy ships HMS Bangor, HMS Blyth, HMS Ledbury and HMS Middleton.

The mission of participating units mission was to locate exercise mines. Also deployed for the exercise were a mine hunting unit and an unmanned systems platoon. These various components worked together to ensure all legs of the MCM triad, consisting of airborne, surface and underwater mine countermeasures, were achieved.

“We look forward to conducting this exercise every quarter. It unquestionably helps us build and grow with our coalition partner by improving tactical proficiencies and sharing knowledge,” said Capt. Michael Egan, commander of CTF 52.

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