200618-N-KZ419-1009

Ships from Saudi Arabia, the U.K, and U.S. sail in formation during a mine countermeasures interoperability exercise in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations, June 18, 2020. The 5th Fleet area of operations encompasses about 2.5 million square miles of water area and includes the Arabian Gulf, Gulf of Oman, Red Sea and parts of the Indian Ocean. The expanse is comprised of 20 countries and includes three chokepoints, critical to the free flow of global commerce.

MANAMA, Bahrain

Royal Saudi Naval Forces (RSNF), Royal Navy and U.S. Navy forces participated in mine countermeasures (MCM) interoperability training in the Arabian Gulf June 6-21.

U.S. Navy mine countermeasures ships (MCMs) operated alongside mine countermeasures vessels (MCMV) from the Royal Navy and RSNF.

The training consisted of realistic mine hunting simulations where participating units practiced detecting and classifying training aids shaped like mines while following standardized mine hunting procedures.

“This training provides a perfect opportunity for the U.S. Navy and our Coalition and regional partners to strengthen our mutual interoperability in addition to refining and developing our mine countermeasures methods and tactics,” said Capt. Jeffrey Morganthaler, Commodore of Combined Task Force 52.

Participating ships included U.S. Navy MCMs USS Dextrous (MCM 13) and USS Gladiator (MCM 11), UK Royal Navy MCMV HMS Brocklesby (M 33) and RSNF MCMV HMS Al-Shaqra (422).

“As mines threaten maritime traffic indiscriminately, it is crucial that we focus our combined efforts on addressing threats to freedom of navigation in the region,” said Vice Adm. James Malloy, Commander of U.S. Naval Forces Central Command/U.S. 5th Fleet. “Training like this emphasizes our commitment to the free flow of commerce and the safety of navigation.”

"Working with regional partners, this is an excellent opportunity to not only sharpen skills, methods and tactics, but also further strengthens capability to operate as an effective coalition", said Captain Don Crosbie Royal Navy, Deputy Commander Task Force 52.

HMS Brocklesby’s commanding officer, Lieutenant Commander Chris Easterbrook Royal Navy added, “We are focused on ensuring that we use every opportunity to train closely with our regional partners. We look forward to these activities as a way to deepen our own skills and at the same time the experience reinforces our capability to work as part of an effective coalition.”

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