US, Royal Navy hold mine warfare drill off Bahrain

UK and US Navy mine countermeasure ships recently carried out the MCMEX 17-2 in international waters off Bahrain.

The mine-clearance exercise consisted of individual units clearing areas of ‘mine threats’ in order to exercise their ability to do so for real at a moments notice.

Royal Navy mine hunter HMS Chiddingfold led the charge, finding and recovering five drill mine shapes in the first week of the exercise.

A vital part of the mine hunting capability is the diving element on board, which was tasked with recovering the mines themselves.

Mine Clearance Diving Officer, Lieutenant David Griffiths, said, “It was great to get the lads out in tough conditions, do what we are trained to do. As divers, its not often we get to work this closely on real shapes”.

“I’m very proud of the fact that my team has excelled in this exercise. It’s fantastic to work closely with our allies from the US as well as our sister ships from the UK,” Lieutenant Commander David Louis, Commanding Officer of HMS Chiddingfold, said.

MCMEX 17-2 saw the participation of Royal Naval ships Chiddingfold, Bangor and Penzance, and US Navy’s Avenger-class mine countermeasure ships USS Devastator, Gladiator and Dextrous.

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