Spanish Navy Hosts Multinational Mine Hunting Exercise
A multinational mine hunting exercise has taken place off the coast of Spain involving ships from Spain, France, Turkey and the Royal Navy. MINEX 13-1 tested NATO forces against a variety of threats such as fast attack craft and terrorist drones whilst dealing with a complex mine counter-measures battle.
Hosted by the Spanish, the Royal Navy was represented by Portsmouth based minehunter, HMS Cattistock, who joined 14 other units from across the maritime spectrum including Mine Hunters, Frigates, Spanish Marines, NATO research vessels and submarines.
HMS Cattistock’s Commanding Officer, Lt Cdr Steve Higham, said:
“This exercise is the latest in a series of mission rehearsal events that we are undertaking as the lead ship in NATO’s Standing Naval Mine Counter-Measures Group 2.
“Building partnerships with NATO Navies and developing our tactics together is key to our future success.”
This latest challenge comes at the end of a busy period for HMS Cattistock.
She will shortly return to the UK for a quick break before the Ship’s Company commences retraining ahead of a further deployment to the Gulf.
Other participants included SNMCMG-2, represented by Turkish Aydın class mine hunter TCG Alanya, and EU’s Euromarfor, along with many Spanish Armada units.
The exercise will last untill 26th April 2013.
Naval Today Staff, April 19, 2013; Image: Royal Navy