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26 mai 2013 7 26 /05 /mai /2013 12:30
L'International Mine Countermeasures Exercise 2013 (IMCMEX 13) s'achève.

25.05.2013 par P. CHALEAU Lignes de Défense


Sagittaire et Pégase bientôt de retour


On se souviendra du déplacement assez inhabituel des chasseurs de mines Pégase et Sagittaire (cliquer ici pour lire mon post) vers le Golfe. Ces deux navires français ont pris part à l'International Mine Countermeasures Exercise 2013 (IMCMEX 13) qui vient de se conclure au large de Barhain. 70 aéronef et 35 navires de 40 nations, 6 500 marins (dont une centaine de plongeurs démineurs)...: jolie armada (cliquer ici pour un communiqué de la Ve Flotte)!


Parmi les navires déployés donc, deux navires français: les chasseurs de mines Sagittaire (photo ci-dessus, au milieu, entre l'USS Sentry et le HMS Shoreham) et Pégase. IMCMEX est un exercice de guerre des mines et de protection de navires marchands.

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23 mai 2013 4 23 /05 /mai /2013 11:30
Royal Navy takes the lead in international exercise

HMS Shoreham taking part in International Mine Countermeasures Exercise 2013 [Picture: Petty Officer (Photographer) Paul A'Barrow, UK MoD]


21 May 2013 Ministry of Defence


UK mine warfare experts have swapped Scotland for the Gulf to play a pivotal role in the world's largest ever mine countermeasures exercise.



The mine warfare battle staff are embarked on Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) ship Cardigan Bay for the International Mine Countermeasures Exercise 2013 (IMCMEX 13), a 2-week naval exercise involving personnel from over 40 countries.

The Royal Navy personnel are on board Cardigan Bay to take charge of a group of 6 minehunters working in the southern Gulf region. Of those, the British minehunters are HMS Atherstone, HMS Quorn, HMS Shoreham and HMS Ramsey.

HMS Dragon seen from a US Navy guided-missile destroyer
A US Navy guided-missile destroyer follows Royal Navy Type 45 destroyer HMS Dragon through the Strait of Hormuz [Picture: Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Carla Ocampo, US Navy]

One of the Royal Navy’s newest warships, HMS Dragon, is also taking part in the exercise; her role is to provide air defence cover to minehunting teams.

Other military units embarked on Cardigan Bay for the exercise include American and Japanese unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV) teams, a group of US Navy mine clearance divers and the UK’s joint role 2 medical team.

All of these assets come under the supervision of Commander Neil Marriott, the Commanding Officer of the UK Mine Countermeasures Force (UKMCMFOR).

Commander Neil Marriott (library image)
Commander Neil Marriott (library image) [Picture: Leading Airman (Photographer) Sally Stimson, Crown copyright]

As the exercise is the first time that the current UKMCMFOR has deployed to sea, it is seen as a great opportunity to hone their skills. Commander Marriott explained:

We’re going to have plenty of opportunities to work with many other foreign officers and foreign ships to understand how they do their business.

We have some very experienced NATO mine warfare experts on the staff, and we are using their knowledge to help improve our own and vice-versa.

IMCMEX 13 is made up of warships, helicopters, diving teams and command staff personnel from all over the world, and aims to improve and develop the international community’s ability to maintain freedom of navigation worldwide. Countries learn to work together to ensure shipping lanes are clear of mines and share expertise and technology.

Bridge operations on board HMS Shoreham
Lieutenant Commander Mark Hammon oversees bridge operations on board HMS Shoreham [Picture: Petty Officer (Photographer) Paul A'Barrow, Crown copyright]

Commander Marriott said:

The UK and US have a long-standing relationship here in the Middle East, and are able to work together with relative ease. It’s the other countries who have come to take part in the exercise that we are particularly interested in developing relationships and co-operating with.

One such country, Belgium, has sent several officers to take part in the exercise. Mine warfare expert Commander Yvo Jaenen is embarked on RFA Cardigan Bay, taking on the role of Underwater Mine Countermeasures Commander.

When not participating in this exercise, Commander Jaenen works at the Belgian Navy headquarters in Den Helder. For IMCMEX 13 he and his team are working with the British mine warfare battle staff, providing specialist advice to Commander Marriott and his team:

I have an integrated Belgian and Dutch staff, augmented by officers and warrant officers from Japan and the US,” he said. “Our main objective is to integrate all the different capabilities provided by all the different countries, and then develop new tactics and techniques for the use of UUVs and divers across the international community.

RFA Cardigan Bay
RFA Cardigan Bay seen from HMS Shoreham [Picture: Petty Officer (Photographer) Paul A'Barrow, Crown copyright]

One of IMCMEX’s main aims is to allow the international community to respond to a mine threat anywhere in the world:

Training like this allows us to develop this capability,” adds Commander Marriott. “The Royal Navy’s mine countermeasures vessels have various standing commitments, including duties around the UK and ships available at short notice to deploy globally.

We are recognised as a world-leading mine countermeasures force, but we cannot do the job alone, and it’s exercises like IMCMEX 13 that allow us to bring together international expertise to ensure freedom of navigation anywhere on the high seas.

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14 mai 2013 2 14 /05 /mai /2013 11:30
US: Gulf Navy Drill Not Directed At Iran

May. 12, 2013 – Defense News (AFP)


MANAMA — Vice Admiral John Miller, commander of the US Fifth Fleet, said on Sunday that a massive naval minesweeping exercise involving 41 countries was not directed at Iran.


“It is not about Iran,” Miller said at a news conference in the Bahraini capital Manama, the fleet’s headquarters, saying the manoeuvres were “purely defensive.”


Iran on Tuesday warned against any “provocations” in the Gulf as the US-led international naval force began preparing for the exercise.


“Our message does not get to one country ... it is about a secure maritime environment,” Miller said. “It is purely defensive, not provocative, and takes place in international waters.”


The Islamic republic has warned that if it was attacked by the US or Israel over its nuclear activities, it would block the strategic Strait of Hormuz, a major oil conduit.


Miller said that “critical to the global economy ... is a maritime environment that has free-flowing commerce, ships can safely sail.”


“If some nation puts mines into the waters then the global community has to get them from the waters as quickly as possible,” he said, adding that the” newest technologies” will be used in the manoeuvres.


Thirty-five ships, 18 Unmanned Underwater Vehicles and more than 100 explosive ordinance disposal divers will participate in the anti-mine manoeuvres running until the end of May. Commodore Simon Ancona of the British Royal Navy said that more than 40countries and 6,500 service members were taking part.


Iran’s Fars news agency reported earlier this week that a minesweeping exercise was being conducted by Iranian forces in the east of the strategic Strait of Hormuz.

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