The French Marine Nationale, Royal Australian Navy, Royal Navy, and U.S. Navy participated in multi-lateral mine countermeasures (MCM) exercise Artemis Trident 21 in the Persian Gulf, April 18-29, the U.S. Navy announced.
This was the fifth iteration in the series of MCM exercises between the four partner nations held to enhance mine hunting and communications interoperability.
“This exercise served to refine our procedures as a multi-national MCM task force,” said Royal Navy Capt. Don Crosbie, deputy commander of Task Force (TF) 52, is comprised of U.S., UK and Australian staff members. “We were excited to be able to integrate next-generation technology with current capabilities in order to enhance our overall readiness.”
Participating forces engaged in multiple simulated scenarios, conducting mine hunting and clearance, maritime security, force protection and dive operations training.
Artemis Trident 21 also included the integration of unmanned underwater systems alongside traditional MCM capabilities, such as mine hunting ships and aircraft.
“Artemis Trident 21 reinforced the need for interoperability, flexibility and adaptability between our coalition partners, especially as we adapt and employ new technology like unmanned systems and artificial intelligence to our evolving inventory of MCM capabilities,” said Capt. Oscar Rojas, commander of TF 52, led the planning and execution of the exercise.
Participating coalition forces included more than 700 personnel, seven mine countermeasures ships, two patrol boats, three expeditionary MCM companies, two helicopters and additional supporting staff from the four participating navies, with the Royal Navy’s landing ship dock RFA Cardigan Bay (L 3009) serving as exercise flag ship throughout.
“We remain committed to increasing our understanding of our partners’ tactics, techniques and procedures, which enhances our collective readiness as we work together to safeguard freedom of navigation and the free flow of commerce throughout this region,” said Rojas.