Mine countermeasure and explosive ordnance disposal professionals from five countries met for Exercise Dugong.
Dugong 2019 brings mine warfare and dive teams from United States of America, Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom and New Zealand together for two weeks to practice contemporary mine warfare and dive salvage techniques and procedures in the vicinity of Garden Island.
“It is fitting that the five eyes nations that are present today for the start of exercise Dugong are the same five nations that stood side by side at the end of the Great War in November 1918,” said Capt. Peter Bartlett, director at Fleet Force Generation Directorate.
“For us Australians to stand together with those from New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Canada and the USA to commemorate Remembrance Day is a reminder of the sacrifices that we have all made in the pursuit of freedom and peace.”
“Having all of our closest allies come together and show one another our diving capabilities as well as new technologies that everyone is incorporating will be fascinating,” said US Navy Chief Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician Jonathan Ross.
“Practicing Mine Countermeasure Operations in a different part of the world furthering our cold-water training and exercising under logistical constraints pushes our limits and shows us how better to plan in the future.”
Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit (MDSU) One will also take part, conducting harbor clearance operations in the vicinity of Garden Island, enhancing interoperability and diving capabilities as a part of the international exercise.
“Through exercise Dugong 2019, our EOD teams will work side-by-side with their counterparts in the Royal Australian Navy to conduct a Full Mission Profile of Unmanned Systems (UMS) and Mine Countermeasures (MCM) to detect, classify, and neutralize potential threats,” said US Navy Cmdr. Brandon Casperson, chief staff officer Commander, Task Force 75.
“Exercises like Dugong 2019 are an important part of building confidence with our foreign partners and increasing our interoperability proficiency within the MCM platforms. It also provides us an opportunity to exchange best practices with equipment, tactics, techniques, and procedures in Mine Countermeasures.”