The Royal Navy and US Navy practised clearing a corridor through a simulated ‘mine danger zone’ in the Gulf.
According to the Royal Navy, doing the clearing on this occasion was the USS Gladiator and USS Dextrous plus HMS Shoreham and HMS Brocklesby.
According to a Royal Navy news release here:
“Minehunting is slow and painstaking, the ships themselves are agile but not fast. For protection, they were given HMS Argyll and HMS Montrose, which can call upon a panoply of weaponry to fend off foes above, on and below the water. The exercise began with the minehunters working together to clear a corridor through a (mock) mine danger zone.
HMS Shoreham alone investigated 40 ‘suspicious’ objects with her Seafox Mine Disposal System – a robot submersible which feeds back live imagery to the operations room and can also be used to safely detonate a mine; alternatively, the ships can send their dive teams down to place charges and neutralise the explosives – which Shoreham did on three occasions.”
The Royal Navy also say that with the region responsible for one sixth of the world’s oil and one third of its liquid natural gas and the waters blighted by mines as recently as the second Gulf War in 2003, the two navies train regularly to ensure that should these waters be sown again, they can be cleared in short order.