U.S. Navy Hosts International Mines Exercise in Middle East

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Scheduled Oct. 27 – Nov. 13, the U.S. Navy – along with more than 40 other nations from 6 continents –  will participate in a large-scale international mines countermeasures exercise.

The exercise (IMCMEX) builds upon a similar exercises conducted in 2012 and 2013 and will take place in the international waterways of the Middle East.

Lt. Joe Hontz, U.S. 5th Fleet spokesman, said it’s a “defensive exercise that will enhance international naval capability to preserve freedom of navigation in international waterways.”

IMCMEX will be conducted in 4 phases and participants – like IMCMEX 13 – will exercise the afloat staging base concept aboard USS Ponce and RFA Cardigan Bay. IMCMEX exercises will cover a wide-variety of underwater, surface and air maritime operations.  Some of the operations include: diving operations, mine countermeasures, coordinated operations with commercial shipping, port clearance tactics, unmanned underwater vehicle operations and more.

The U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility includes 2.5 million square miles of water in the Middle East including the Sea of Oman, Gulf of Aden, Arabian Gulf, Red Sea, and parts of the Indian Ocean.

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