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U.S., Britain, France, Australia wrap mine countermeasure exercise

U.S., Britain, France, Australia wrap mine countermeasure exercise
A multinational group of mine countermeasure ships from the French Marine Nationale, UK Royal Navy, U.S. Navy and a MH-53E Sea Dragon helicopter operate in formation during exercise Artemis Trident 21 in the Arabian Gulf on April 21. Photo Theoren Neal/U.S. Army

April 29 (UPI) -- The U.S. Navy wrapped a multilateral mine hunting exercise with the British, French and Australian navies in the Arabian Gulf Thursday.

Artemis Trident 21, designed to enhance mine hunting and communications interoperability, began April 18 and lasted for 11 days, the Navy said in a press release.

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"This exercise served to refine our procedures as a multi-national MCM task force," Royal Navy Capt. Don Crosbie said in the release.

"We were excited to be able to integrate next generation technology with current capabilities in order to enhance our overall readiness," said Crosbie, deputy commander of Task Force 52, which is comprised of U.S., British and Australian personnel.

It was the fifth iteration in a series of multilateral mine countermeasures exercises involving the four nations, according to the service.

More than 700 personnel, seven mine countermeasures ships, two patrol boats, three MCM companies, two helicopters and additional support staff from the four participating navies took part in the exercise.

"We remain committed to increasing our understanding of our partners' tactics, techniques and procedures, which enhances our collective readiness as we work together to safeguard freedom of navigation and the free flow of commerce throughout this region," said Rojas.

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In March, the United States joined Oman, France and Britain for a mine countermeasures exercise in the Gulf of Oman.

In February, the United States and Japan conducted a nine-day mine warfare exercise off the Japanese coast.

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