US Admiral Perry Unveiled His Plan For Mine Clearing In The Persian Gulf

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Photo: Robert Johnson – Business Insider

There are 10 other media outlets here in Bahrain for the multinational mine clearing exercise (IMCMEX), and today we were briefed on what’s going to happen in the next couple of days when we’re in the Persian Gulf.After meeting the three star admiral in charge of the whole operation, who answered a series of questions and gave us a broad picture of the effort, we were delivered to the U.S. military base in Bahrain and escorted to IMCMEX headquarters.

High-ranking officers there from Bahrain, Australia and the U.S. outlined what we should expect to see when we fly out to the USS Ponce at 5:30 a.m. tomorrow and get split up among various mine counter measure ships and helicopters.

This exercise involves more than 30 countries and assets from the United States, United Kingdom, Japan, France, Yemen, Jordan, New Zealand, Estonia, Netherlands, Italy, Australia, Canada. That list was updated at close of business here today a couple of hours ago.

When the Navy sent us those countries’ names, they also sent us Rear Admiral Perry’s PowerPoint presentation we saw earlier today on base.

The briefing is officially unclassified, and after a few pictures, is presented here in its entirety.

The mine clearing exercise is going to be overseen from the US Naval forces Central Command in Bahrain

Within headquarters located inside this tent

The press arrived early today for the briefing

And waited for Rear Admiral Perry to arrive

Admiral Perry assigned this Australian officer to teach us 'Mine Clearing 101' — he presented the following slides

MCM refers to Mine Countermeasures

There are more than 30 countries involved in the effort over the next few days

This slide says that a marine mine will cost $10,000, but Admiral Miller told us yesterday they can cost as little as $1,500 and do hundreds of millions in damage

The exercise will be performed here outside the Strait of Hormuz, because the strait is too congested

According to this, Japan, the UK, and the US are the only countries providing ships, aircraft, and personnel — but countries were still signing on until the end of the day today

The three approaches to clearing mines — air, surface, and underwater — are referred to as 'The Triad'

The ships hunting mines sweep and neutralize with remote subs and Navy divers

The ships aren't huge but they are highly specialised

Another major element in mine hunting are helicopters, but these are going to become less important as new technology is introduced

The innovations listed here are supposed to eliminate much of the danger posed by marine mines for more than 150 years

The remote subs will only assist divers who will actually go underwater and place explosive charges on the mines

These are the tools used by divers when they head out to detonate mines

The MK 18, shown here, comes in two sizes and we will see both in the coming days and follow up with pictures and details

The MK 18 is highly anticipated by the US Navy, and the impression we received is that officials looked forward to seeing it perform in this exercise

The exercise will be coordinated on the water from two highly technical, highly specialised operating bases owned by the US and Japan

We'll be aboard the US ship tomorrow and will follow up with everything we see

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