International MCM exercise ‘SPANISH MINEX-21’ is underway with the participation of 13 surface vessels, 1 submarine, 1 aircraft, 1 Spanish Navy helicopter and a total of 600 people from the naval services of France, Italy, Portugal, Belgium, Turkey, Greece and the United States. The exercise will be held between 26 April-07 May off the Balearic coast.
The multinational Naval Force is made up of units from the Spanish Navy and the SNMCMG-2 (Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group No. 2), as well as from the European Maritime Force (EUROMARFOR), all under command of Captain Miguel Cuartero Lorenzo, Chief of the Spanish MCM Force who will embark on the OPV ‘Audaz’ with his Staff.
The MCM Force operates sophisticated and state-of-the-art underwater detection systems and specialized MCM divers. After the initial coordination meetings, the exercise started on the 26th of April and all participating units set sail towards the designated theatre of operations.
The MCM task group is scheduled to call at Porto Pi (Majorca) on May 1 and 2 and also at the conclusion of the exercise.
The initial stage of the exercise has been marked by the current pandemic caused by COVID-19. Accordingly, the first shot of the vaccine has been administered to all concerned, apart from implementing prevention measures to avoid infections including pre-quarantine periods and PCR tests.
This year the Spanish Navy celebrates the 75th anniversary of the Mine Countermeasures Force, founded on April 25th 1946, but all festivities to celebrate this anniversary have been postponed with a date still to be determined.
Check out Naval Library App to find out the specifications of the Mine Warfare Vessels.