Joint UK and US mine countermeasure excercise underway, IMCMEX 13 next

Contributor:  Defence IQ Press
Posted:  03/04/2013  12:00:00 AM EST
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The year’s first major mine warfare exercise in the Gulf is underway with six Royal Navy and two American ships taking part. Three of the UK’s four Gulf-based minehunters - HM Ships Quorn, Ramsey and Shoreham, their mother ship Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) vessel Cardigan Bay, and two Royal Navy frigates - Northumberland and Monmouth, have linked up with US forces for eight days.

The exercise enacted a scenario where a corridor of sea was swept for mines to make way for an important ship.

Cardigan Bay is currently serving as the support vessel and command ship for the Royal Navy’s Gulf minehunting force and, for this 8-day workout, she had on board an additional 70 personnel, 2 US Navy sea boats and underwater unmanned vehicles (mini-robot submarines) and associated kit.

This allowed the force to use the full range of minehunting skills and equipment, such as the Royal Navy’s ‘Sonar 2193’ which can detect objects on the seabed as small as a tin can, the Seafox submersible which identifies and destroys mines, Fleet Diving Unit 3, who are experts in bomb disposal, and clearance divers from HMS Atherstone.

Captain Paul Minter, Commanding Officer of RFA Cardigan Bay, said: “Once again Cardigan Bay and her crew have shown themselves to be fully capable of supporting coalition warships in a demanding operational theatre. We’ve demonstrated our versatility as an integral part of the naval presence in the Gulf region.”

This was all in anticipation of May’s large-scale exercise where Navies and forces from more than 20 nations spanning 4 continents will come together for International Mine Countermeasures Exercise 13, the biggest event of its type in the Middle East region.

Defence IQ Press Contributor:   Defence IQ Press

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