Black Olives 18: Mine Warfare Training in the Mediterranean

September 21, 2018 (Google Translation) – After a ramp-up phase to master the fundamental actions, the black olives tactical period will run until 28 September with the implementation of a crisis scenario in which the naval force will have to search, locate and neutralize exercise mines under the threat of enemies.

“BLACK OLIVES 18 is a great training to improve the interoperability between the different units, key to the success of the operations ” explains the Captain Camelin who, with the staff of war of the mines of the French Force Maritime Rapid Reaction (FRMARFOR), leads the exercise from the Command and Supply Building (BCR) Var.

Marine mines and improvised explosive devices at sea remain a serious threat. Widely used in past conflicts, their design and manufacture are now within reach of non-state armed groups. Often referred to as “weapons of the poor”, submarine mines have a formidable cost-effectiveness ratio. Even the most rudimentary can achieve strategic goals by cutting off lines of communication, and hampering freedom of movement at sea and, in any case, have a strong psychological impact on combatants.

Faced with this real and evolving threat, which today incorporates the latest technologies in terms of stealthy coatings and target selectivity, it is essential to develop adapted and innovative technological means (sonars, drones), a coherent doctrine and maintain a realistic training. It is within this framework that the French Navy embarked on the modernization of its mine warfare force with the SLAMF (Future Mine Countermeasures) program confirmed by the Military Planning Act. It should enable it to retain its world-renowned know-how in the field of mine warfare and underwater clearance.