November 19, 2018 (Google Translation) – Launched in the harbor of Brest at the beginning of November, Operation Damier 18.2 is a mine warfare operation motivated by the need to secure the Brest Gully. Its purpose is to permanently and securely guarantee the passage of nuclear missile submarines (SSBNs) on Long Island.
Thanks to the trained crews and high-performance sonars of the tripartite mine hunters (CMT) and the committed sonar towing vessels (BRS), the Damier operation is an opportunity to continually update the database of the Brest seabed and thus detect irregularities revealing potential threats such as mines or recording instruments.
For their part, the minesweepers of the GPD Atlantique are entrusted with the mission of carefully inspecting the steepest areas of the channel bottom. After having set up their surface dive site from a Minesweeper Vault (VIPD), the divers descend in pairs up to 60 meters to carry out an investigation of the area by circular at sight (ie say raking in a circle of the area to be covered by a pair of divers). This investigation can identify any ammunition to be treated, whether real or exercise and set up for training purposes.
If this operation is often planned in advance, it can also be triggered unexpectedly. Mine warfare units must maintain a high level of responsiveness and be capable of acting in all environmental conditions, given the strategic challenge of ocean access for SSBNs.