HMS Ledbury took part in a joint Anglo-French-American mine hunting exercise in the Gulf.
According to the Royal Navy, two of the UK’s four Bahrain-based minehunters, plus their mother ship, joined two Marine Nationale counterparts and half a dozen US warships and patrol craft for Artemis Trident.
The US and UK both maintain a permanent mine warfare force in the Middle East and regularly train side-by-side.
According to the Royal Navy:
“As for the ‘Fighting Aces’ – 2nd Mine Countermeasures Squadron Crew 1, currently in charge of Ledbury for six months as part of the rotation of sailors in the Gulf – they ran out their dive team and remote-controlled mine disposal system Seafox to deal with the dummy mines peppering the sea for the exercise. They started at the easy end – a buoyant mine (big, round, floaty, basically your traditional mine, but without the detonator spike).
They are cheap, easy to produce and lay, lurking just below the surface waiting for unsuspecting shipping traffic to just run into them. Ledbury’s divers had to options: to send the mine to kingdom come by placing a small detonation charge on it, or render the device safe then bring it back on board for analysis, to find out what makes it tick and pass on the information to anyone else who might come across a similar mine.”