|International Militaries to Conduct Mine Countermeasures Exercise|
By U.S. Central Command
MACDILL AFB, Fla. (July 17, 2012) —Militaries from more than 20 nations spanning four continents will come together September 16-27, 2012 to participate in a defensive exercise to preserve freedom of navigation in the international waterways of the Middle East and promote regional stability within the CENTCOM AOR.
U.S. Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT) and an international contingent of military planners completed the Main Planning Conference for the International Mine Countermeasures Exercise 2012, or IMCMEX 12, last week. IMCMEX 12 will be an international symposium and afloat exercise of mine countermeasures, conducted in multiple locations in NAVCENT’s area of operations.
Exercises such as IMCMEX 12 enhance cooperation, mutual maritime capabilities and long-term regional stability and interoperability between the U.S. and its international partners while preparing the international community to address threats to freedom of navigation and international commerce.
“IMCMEX 12 demonstrates the international community’s ability to work together to ensure free and secure trade,” said Gen. James N. Mattis, Commander of the U.S. Central Command. “Of the approximately 40 bilateral and multilateral exercises we’ll conduct this year, this exercise also represents the extensive cooperation we enjoy with our international partners – both in and outside the region – with mutual economic and security interests. We’ll finish this exercise with even stronger relationships with our partners.”
Terrorist attacks against the Motor Vessel (M/V) Limburg in 2002 and the M/V M. Star in 2010 underscore the exercise scenario, which focuses on a hypothetical threat from an extremist organization to mine the international strategic waterways of the Middle East, including the Red Sea, the Gulf of Aden, the Gulf of Oman, and the Persian Gulf, although exercise activities will not extend into the Strait of Hormuz.