U.S. Fifth Fleet leads major anti-mines exercise near Strait of Hormuz

Special to WorldTribune.com

The U.S. Navy has introduced new technology to the world’s largest maritime exercise.

Sailors prep an underwater drone. /U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Joshua Bryce Bruns
Sailors prep an underwater drone. /U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Joshua Bryce Bruns

Underwater drones and the expeditionary fast transport ship USNS Choctaw County will be included for the first time in the International Mine Countermeasures Exercise (IMCMEX), led by the Bahrain-based U.S. Fifth Fleet.

The exercise got underway on April 4 and concludes on April 26.

“These participating nations (more than 30) are united by a common thread — the need to protect the free flow of commerce from a range of maritime threats including piracy, terrorism and mines,” said Vice Adm. Kevin Donegan, commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command in a statement.

“This region provides a strong training opportunity for nations worldwide as three of the six major maritime chokepoints in the world are here: the Suez Canal, the Strait of Bab Al Mandeb and the Strait of Hormuz,” he said.

The exercise will include mine countermeasures, diving operations, small-boat exercises, maritime security operations coordinated with industrial and commercial shipping and port clearance operations, the Navy said.

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