21:54 GMT +322 September 2019
Listen Live
    Sailors assigned to Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit (EODMU) 2 man a combat rubber raiding craft while underway with the Royal Fleet Auxiliary landing ship dock Mounts Bay during a mine countermeasures (MCM) task group experiment.

    US Navy Experiment Sees British Warship Transformed Into Mine-Hunting Base

    © US Navy/Danny Ray Nuñez Jr.
    Military & Intelligence
    Get short URL
    0 06
    Subscribe

    Officials with the US Navy and the UK's Royal Navy headed into new territory recently when they began using the Bay-class auxiliary dock landing ship RFA Mounts Bay as a mine-hunting base in mine countermeasure (MCM) experiments off the coast of Virginia.

    The Mounts Bay, which is typically used for humanitarian relief missions in the Caribbean, is a civilian-crewed vessel that can transport troops and helicopters, according to Military.com, which noted that the experiment was carried out to see if MCM task groups are able to operate from a "vessel of opportunity."

    Lt. Kristi Johnson, spokesperson for the US Navy's Explosive Ordnance Disposal Group Two at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek, further explained to the Navy Times earlier this month that the experiment would help to "refine and advance the Navy explosive ordnance disposal community's ability [to control an MCM task group]."

    "The US Navy and Royal Navy have an enduring partnership, and mine countermeasures capabilities and technology are shared items of interest," she stressed.

    Sailors assigned to Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit 2 prepare to launch a combat rubber raiding craft from the well deck of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary landing ship dock Mounts Bay during a mine countermeasures (MCM) task group experiment.
    Sailors assigned to Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit 2 prepare to launch a combat rubber raiding craft from the well deck of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary landing ship dock Mounts Bay during a mine countermeasures (MCM) task group experiment.

    Cmdr. Jon Haase, commanding officer of Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit Two, told Military.com that this was "the first time to take some kind of emerging technologies… [and] combine them with some advanced communication systems that allowed us to stay connected."

    "[Mine countermeasures have] traditionally been done by helicopters; it's been done off of small boats; it's been done by underwater vehicles before. But to embark all of those players onto one platform — an allied platform nonetheless — and to integrate all of those from a central hub… is the contribution and difference," he said.

    "From my perspective, what we've done is we've reduced the risk associated with having people in the middle of that minefield."

    The recent joint operation saw American and British sailors working with one another to make sure that communication networks didn't interfere with each other as the experiment was carried out.

    Participating units included Haase's MCM company, Norfolk-based Helicopter Sea Combat Squadrons 2 and 28 and minemen from the Mine Warfare Detachment 22. Virginia-based news station ABC 13 News Now reported that the units "ran the full experiment of detect-to-engage sequencing, from locating to neutralizing simulated explosive threats during the experiment."

    Earlier this month, Haase told the Navy Times that such operations were a necessity in order to improve the "overall readiness" of MCM task groups and combat real world threats.

    Related:

    US Navy Gets Access to Oman Ports Amid Iran Tensions - Reports
    US Navy Sails Ships Through Taiwan Strait for Third Time in Three Months
    Watchdog: US Navy's F-35s Nowhere Near Combat Ready
    US Navy Enterprise Surveillance Radar Starts Live Testing on Virginia Island
    US Navy Veteran Sentenced to 10 Years Term in Iran - Report
    Tags:
    RFA Mounts Bay, base, mines, British Royal Navy, Royal Navy, US Navy, United States
    Community standardsDiscussion
    Comment via FacebookComment via Sputnik