Operation MANITOU Counters Sea Mines and Develops Partnerships

A small team of Australian mine warfare specialists recently deployed under Operation MANITOU as part of the International Mine Countermeasures Exercise (IMCMEX 14). The focus of the exercise involved countering sea mines and developing international partnerships.

Commander Max Muller, the Commander Australian Mine Warfare and Clearance Diving Task Group, led Australia’s commitment during the exercise.

This is an activity focused on countering sea mines and about maintaining an international capability to respond to a mining threat.

Sponsored by US Naval Forces Central Command, the exercise area encompassed about 2.5 million square miles of water and included the Arabian Gulf, Arabian Sea, Gulf of Oman, Red Sea, and parts of the Indian Ocean.

Forces involved in IMCMEX 2014 concentrated in the Kingdom of Bahrain from October 20, before deploying across different locations in the Middle East.

The exercise participants undertook Mine Counter Measures, Maritime Security and Maritime Infrastructure Protection operations.

During the exercise, Navy personnel were embarked on several coalition ships including USS Dextrous, USS Gladitor, HMS Penzance and HMS Chittingfold.

Staff will also be embarked onboard RFA Cardigan Bay working with Royal Navy Battle Staff personnel.

Consisting of over 40 nations, IMCMEX 2014 is considered one of the largest maritime exercises in the world.

Press release, Image: Australian Navy

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