MTSN - Training/Simulation

IMCMEX kicks off in Middle East

6th April 2016 - 11:19 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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The International Mine Countermeasures Exercise (IMCMEX) has begun, with civilian maritime and international naval forces from over 30 nations training together across the Middle East, the US Navy announced on 4 April.

The US Naval Forces Central Command is organising and leading the exercise, which will see participants train in maritime infrastructure protection, maritime security operations and mine countermeasures in order to execute defensive operations to protect international trade and commerce.

IMCMEX will also demonstrate new technologies like unmanned underwater vehicles and exercise the sealift capabilities of transport ship USNS Choctaw County and afloat forward staging base USS Ponce.

Exercise operations will include port clearance operations, unmanned underwater vehicle operations, maritime security operations coordinated with industrial and commercial shipping, small-boat exercises, diving operations and mine countermeasures.

VAdm Kevin Donegan, commander, US Naval Forces Central Command, said: ‘These participating nations are united by a common thread -- the need to protect the free flow of commerce from a range of maritime threats including piracy, terrorism and mines. This region provides a strong training opportunity for nations worldwide as three of the six major maritime chokepoints in the world are here: the Suez Canal, the Strait of Bab Al Mandeb and the Strait of Hormuz.’

‘This exercise is also a great opportunity for us to build proficiency and test the latest technology available for ensuring the global maritime commons stay open and secure. It also allows us to work with our partners to reinforce adherence to the international rules and accepted behavioural norms expected of professional mariners. If all nations followed these established practices the result would be a safe and stable maritime global commons with commerce flowing freely for the benefit of the global economy.’

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