Diving into partnership provides an edge

This article has photo gallery Published on LEUT Will Singer (author), CPOIS Damian Pawlenko (photographer), LSIS Bradley Darvill (photographer), ABIS Richard Cordell (photographer)

Topic(s): Australian Clearance Diving Team Four, Mine Countermeasures

Clearance Divers and support staff from both Australian Clearance Diving Team Four and the United States Explosives Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit Five outside the Team's building. (photo: CPOIS Damian Pawlenko)
Clearance Divers and support staff from both Australian Clearance Diving Team Four and the United States Explosives Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit Five outside the Team's building.

A United States Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit journeyed to Perth in Western Australia recently, to train with Australian Clearance Divers, building relationships and exchanging ideas.

Mobile Unit Five flew from Guam to conduct mine counter-measure training with Australian Clearance Diving Team Four and Australian Mine Warfare Team 16.

The training took place in the pristine surrounds off Garden Island, where the teams shared valuable experience and equipment during autonomous underwater vehicle and unmanned surface vessel evolutions bolstering their deployable mine counter-measures capabilities.

Officer-in-Charge of Expeditionary Reconnaissance Clearance Team 4, Lieutenant Beau Mulraney, said that the two weeks of training provided the opportunity to enhance interoperability with regionally based US Forces.

“Team 4 already have a strong rapport with our US counterparts and the training allowed the teams to conduct tactical development of various techniques, tactics and procedures in addition to fostering international engagement,” Lieutenant Mulraney said.

“It also provides an excellent opportunity to stress and develop our tactics and procedures in consultation with the US Navy.

“Mobile Unit Five have indicated a strong desire to establish an ongoing relationship where this training is conducted with Australian Clearance Diving Teams,” he said.

Commanding Officer Mine Warfare Team 16 Lieutenant Commander Ryan Carmichael said that international engagement opportunities were key.

“This tactical training activity was designed to enhance individual and collective skills, and to develop techniques and procedures in very shallow water mine counter-measures scenarios,” Lieutenant Commander Carmichael said.

“The team’s underwater vehicles capability implementation crew have been embedded within the US Mobile Unit element throughout the activity to gain practical experience in the planning and conduct of underwater vehicle operations,” he said.

US Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal Second Class Petty Officer Ben Bachmann said that it was great to get a different perspective on how the teams do things, with different equipment and especially how they came together in the end and got the job done.

“We really like the Australian gear and it gives us an understanding of what we expect in the future and how it will benefit us,” he said.

“We experienced the beautiful Perth beaches, not dissimilar to San Diego, and enjoyed cheering for our gridiron teams during the Super Bowl while over here."