|Coming in May: IMCMEX 13|
By US Naval Forces Central Command
NAVAL SUPPORT ACTIVITY, Bahrain — Representatives from more than 30 nations will gather in Bahrain and waters of the Gulf region for International Mine Countermeasures Exercise (IMCMEX) 13, May 6-30.
The largest exercise of its kind in the region, IMCMEX 13 will exercise a wide spectrum of defensive operations designed to protect international commerce and trade; mine countermeasures, maritime security operations (MSO) and maritime infrastructure protection (MIP).
“This multidisciplinary defense exercise is focused on maritime security for commerce and trade from the port of origin to the port of arrival,” said Commodore Simon Ancona, deputy commander, Combined Maritime Forces, and Commander of this year’s International Maritime Exercise Force (IMEF). “Our planners have included events that address more of the security picture than just mines on the high seas.”
Hosted by U.S. Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT)/U.S. 5th Fleet, IMCMEX 13 will be conducted in three phases: a three-day symposium on maritime infrastructure protection, an afloat operations phase, and a re-integration phase where participants discuss best practices and lessons learned for future exercises.
Similar to last year, participants will exercise the afloat staging base concept aboard USS Ponce (AFSB(I) 15) and RFA Cardigan Bay (L3009), and will cover surface mine countermeasures, mine hunting and airborne mine countermeasures operations, international explosive ordnance disposal training, diving operations, small-boat exercises, unmanned aerial vehicle operations, unmanned underwater vehicle operations and port clearance operations.
New to this year’s exercise, MSO will introduce shipping escort and visit, board, search and seizure operations which will include representatives from industry who were involved in exercise planning and will play a significant role in shipping escort events. Industry representatives will also lead an oil spill response table-top discussion during the exercise.
The MIP portion of the exercise focuses on protecting maritime points of origin and arrival, such as ports or offshore terminals. This portion of the exercise will include shore and harbor security operations; visit, board, search and seizure teams; and specialized aircraft.