Mine countermeasures a platform of cooperation for JMSDF and Royal Navy

Two Japanese Maritime Self Defence Force (JMSDF) ships worked worked closely with Royal Navy’s HMS Middleton during last month’s mine countermeasures exercise in the Gulf, IMCMEX.

Hunt Class Mine Countermeasures Vessel (MCMV) HMS Middleton trained with the JMSDF ships Uraga and Takashima for several weeks.

Middleton hosted Rear Admiral Hideki Yuasa, Commander of the Japanese Mine Warfare Force, and Captain Toshihiro Takaiwa, Commander of Mine Sweeper Division 51. The Japanese were given an overview of the Ship’s capability ranging from force protection to engineering.

Afterwards they were given a tour of the Ship as Middleton headed towards a ‘dummy mine’, laid in the Gulf, to demonstrate her Seafox capabilities.

Upon arrival in the mine-hunting practice areas the Japanese took up positions in the Ops Room, and the Sweep deck to watch the Seafox being launched. After successfully deactivating a mine the three ships took part in officer of the watch manoeuvres with all three ships operated in close proximity driving in different formations.

The International Mine Counter Measures Exercise, abbreviated to IMCMEX, is focused on maritime security from the port of origin to the port of arrival and includes scenarios that range from mine countermeasures, infrastructure protection and maritime security operations in support of civilian shipping.

The exercise, which includes international naval and civilian maritime forces from more than 30 nations spanning six continents training together across the Middle East, showcases the use of technology to protect freedom of navigation and free flow of maritime commerce.