Monument to Mine Warfare Personnel to Open in Portsmouth

A monument in the form of a bronze statue will be unveiled at Gunwharf Quays in Portsmouth next year to pay tribute to the Royal Navy’s mine warfare and diving history. More than £250,000 has been raised to find the one-and-a-quarter life size monument, created by sculptor Mark Richards. The sculpture, which will be revealed on March 25 2020, will stand in one of the pools at Gunwharf, formerly the home of HMS Vernon. Vernon started life in 1876 as a training establishment accommodated on board ships afloat in Portsmouth.  In…

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Royal Navy Persian Gulf MCM Force Marks 10th Anniversary

November 20, 2019 – Few units have been busier and endured more punishing climatic conditions on a regular basis than the five-strong ‘flotilla’ under the direction of the UK Mine Counter-Measures Force, operating in the Gulf since the autumn of 2009. The Royal Navy has maintained a permanent mine warfare force in Bahrain since 2007 when it dispatched two Sandown-class ships to the kingdom. They were soon joined by a couple of Hunt-class minehunters and then, to sustain operations at sea in Gulf for lengthy periods, a Bay-class support ship…

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LCS Mission Module Program Office Completes At-Sea Demonstration of GARC/TALONS System

November 25, 2019 – The Navy completed a demonstration of the Greenough Advanced Rescue Craft (GARC) and Towed Airborne Lift of Naval Systems (TALONS), the service announced Nov. 25. The GARC/TALONS prototype is being evaluated to provide enhanced communication ranges for the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) Mine Countermeasure (MCM) Mission Package that could reduce the time to clear a minefield. “This achievement marks an important landmark in the potential acquisition of an enhanced communication range solution for the Navy,” said Capt. Godfrey Weekes, LCS Mission Module program manager. “From concept…

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Multinational Mine Warfare force clears the sea

October 22, 2019 – Joining units from the Republic of Korea Navy and the United States Navy, HMA Ships Diamantina and Gascoyne have sailed to participate in the 2019 Multinational Mine Warfare Exercise (MIWEX) being conducted in the waters off South Korea. This is only the second time Royal Australian Navy Minehunters have contributed to MIWEX and the first time a Task Group Command element (CTG) has joined the ships for a deployment. The Mine Warfare Exercise will see units challenged with searching for, identifying and clearing maritime mines in…

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Franco-Estonian counter-mining operation in the Baltic Sea

October 3, 2019 (Google Translation) – After participating in a Baltic Sea NATO exercise aimed at enhancing Allied interoperability while contributing to Alliance assurance measures in this region, the Southern Cross mine-fighter building conducted a bilateral co-operation action with the Estonian Navy from 23 to 25 September. On this occasion, an Estonian liaison officer boarded three days on board. The purpose of this cooperation was twofold: the research and the neutralization of any mine identified. A mine dating from the First World War was discovered and destroyed by the crew…

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NSWC Panama City Supports MCM Demonstration

October 2, 2019 – As the lead engineering activity for Mine Countermeasure (MCM) Mission Packages (MP), the Naval Surface Warfare Center Panama City Division (NSWC PCD) provided equipment, personnel, and expertise to demonstrate the modular capability of the MCM MP aboard USNS Hershel “Woody” Williams (T-ESB 4) earlier this month. The demo included embarkation of the Mine Countermeasures Unmanned Surface Vehicle (MCM USV) with Unmanned Influence Sweep System, the Knifefish Mock-up Unit (KMU), mass models for the Airborne Laser Mine Detection and Airborne Mine Neutralization Systems, the Mission Package Portable…

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Vladimir Emelyanov Begins Sea Trials

September 26, 2019 (Google Translation) – The latest mine defense ship Vladimir Emelyanov, built for the Russian Navy at the Sredne-Nevsky Shipbuilding Plant in St. Petersburg, began factory sea trials. The crew’s readiness to provide factory sea trials, and then state tests of the ship, was reported to the Navy Commander-in-Chief Admiral Nikolai Evmenov. Factory sea trials and state tests of the PMO Vladimir Emelyanov ship will be carried out in the Baltic Sea, after which the ship will be accepted into the Navy until the end of 2019. At…

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Navy Tests Mine Countermeasures on USNS Hershel ‘Woody’ Williams

September 19, 2019 – USNS Hershel “Woody” Williams (T-ESB 4) recently completed a three-day voyage in the Chesapeake Bay to test an anti-mine system. The Expeditionary Sea Base (ESB) ship used the Littoral Combat Ship Mine Countermeasure (MCM) Mission Package portable control station to maneuver the MCM equipment and the launch and recovery equipment, as well as to test the command and control of unmanned vehicles. The demonstration proved ESB class ships’ ability to serve as an MCM-capable platform to embark 12 twenty-foot equivalent units, vehicles, and the support equipment…

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NATO Exercise Dynamic Move 2019 hosted by Mine Countermeasure Force Command

September 20, 2019 (Google Translation) – Started September 2, Dynamic Move 2019 saw the participation of military and civilians from 16 countries. Throughout the period the training audience was continuously tested in conducting a mine countermeasure operation in a multiminaccia environment. Using an elaborate simulation software, highly realistic training solutions were proposed, dynamically modifying the planned sequence of scheduled events according to the reactions of the participants. The exercise thus allowed to experiment with different tactical procedures for finding mines, remote-controlled underwater vehicles (ROVs) and autonomous vehicles (AUVs), as well…

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Dutch Navy Clears Legacy Mines from Wind Farm Site

August 27, 2019 (Google Translation) – HNLMS Zierikzee of the Royal Netherlands Navy cleared 5 mines on the North Sea this week. The explosives were found during preparatory work for a new offshore wind farm. This ‘Borssele Windfarm’ is located 25 miles off the coast of Vlissingen. The construction of the wind farm is planned for the beginning of October. LMB sea mines were among the cleared projectiles. These are German mines dropped from planes. They work acoustically and explode through vibrations. In addition, the navy cleared a British MK14,…

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US Navy’s Knifefish UUV Program Achieves Milestone C

August 27, 2019 – The Program Executive Officer for Unmanned and Small Combatants (PEO USC) granted Milestone C approval to the Knifefish Surface Mine Countermeasure Unmanned Undersea Vehicle Program. The decision clears the way for low-rate initial production (LRIP) of the system, PEO USC announced Aug. 23. The Navy is expected to award a LRIP contract to Knifefish prime contractor General Dynamics Mission Systems. The Knifefish system is designed for deployment from the littoral combat ship (LCS), vessels of opportunity or from shore to detect and classify buried, bottom and…

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HMS Ramsey Returns from SNMCMG1

August 12, 2019 – HMS Ramsey has returned home following a four-month NATO deployment. The HMNB Clyde-based Sandown- class minehunter was working with Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group 1 (SNMCMG1) in the Baltic and North Sea. Throughout the deployment, HMS Ramsey and her 40-strong crew have conducted maritime security, historical ordnance disposal and multinational exercises alongside the UK’s NATO maritime partners and allies. Deploying after a period of training with Flag Officer Sea Training, HMS Ramsey joined the task group in Gothenburg, Sweden before moving into the Baltic Sea. The…

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RFS Korovets Practices MCM Skills

May 14, 2019 (Google Translation) – The Black Sea Fleet is undergoing a routine training of naval elements and combat exercises as part of the development of the second special course task – “Navigation and combat with a single ship”. In particular, the crew of the sea-sweeper “Kovrovets” performs the setting of minefields and trawls, the control and reconnaissance search and the destruction of the minefield site by contact and non-contact trawls. During the anti-mine warfare exercises, artillery bombardment of floating mines and naval exercises to undermine mines in various…

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French Minister of the Armed Forces Pleased With Dutch/Belgian Equipment Choices

April 3, 2019 (Google Translation) – Florence Parly, Minister of the Armed Forces, welcomes the offer of the Belgium Naval & Robotics consortium, bringing together French industrials Naval Group and ECA Robotics, to renew the capacity of the Belgian and Dutch navies against submarine mines. The minister welcomes this cooperation of three active countries for a stronger defense Europe. This choice is a continuation of a long-standing close relationship in this field between France, Belgium and the Netherlands, since the minesweepers currently used by the Navy and the Belgian and…

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Russian Baltic Fleet Trains for Departure Behind MCM Ships

March 27, 2019 (Google Translation) – The shipboard sweeping group (KTG) as part of the basic minesweeper Novocheboksarsk and the road sweeper of the RT-252 compound of the protection of the water area of ​​the Baltic naval base during the exercise developed the mine action support for the deployment of the Baltic Fleet shipboard forces. The crew of the minesweepers carried out the tasks of wiring the ship’s shock group consisting of the corvettes “Boky”, “Resistant” and “savvy” behind the trawls and forcing the minefield. Also, in the course of…

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