Multinational Mine Warfare force clears the sea

This article has photo gallery Published on LEUT Anthony Martin (author and photographer)

Location(s): Busan, Republic of Korea

Topic(s): HMAS Diamantina (M86), HMAS Gascoyne (M85), Multinational Mine Warfare Exercise (MIWEX), East Asia Deployment

HMA Ships Diamantina and Gascoyne prepare for departure from Busan Naval Base in the Republic of Korea. (photo: LEUT Anthony Martin)
HMA Ships Diamantina and Gascoyne prepare for departure from Busan Naval Base in the Republic of Korea.

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 challenging conditions in the south of Republic of Korea. Units will share knowledge, skills and equipment to achieve exercise objectives.

The RAN ships will also utilise remote mine disposal vehicles in a positive demonstration of the high quality equipment in use to meet the mine hunting challenge.

The RAN set a high standard in Mine Warfare operations during 2018’s MIWEX, and it will be striving to once again achieve the mission in even more diverse and challenging conditions in 2019.

The Commanding Officer of HMAS Diamantina, Lieutenant Commander Darren McDevitt is looking forward to the exercise.

“Both ships and crews are ready for the sea phase of the exercise and are prepared to meet any challenge,” he said.

Diamantina has maintained a high operational tempo this year and we can bring that experience to the exercise and show the international partners our excellence in mine warfare.”

Task Group Commander, Commander Brett Dawe, is excited about the sea phase of the exercise.

“Now that the shore phase and desktop exercises have been successfully completed, this is the time that we can hone our hands-on skills in partnership with our hosts and the United States Navy,” Commander Dawe said.

The RAN units will operate closely with United States and Korean vessels and seek opportunities to gain mutual benefit and enhance lessons learnt. 

“It is not often we have the opportunity to work closely with so many units conducting mine warfare, now is the time to share and learn key skills,” Lieutenant Commander McDevitt said.

The Task Group Command, Diamantina and Gascoyne are taking part in the Multinational Mine Countermeasure Symposium and Mine Ware Exercise in Korea as part of a four month North East Asian Deployment.