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Royal Australian Navy tests shallow water mine countermeasures.

| 2019

The Royal Australian Navy’s premier international mine countermeasure exercise recently came to an end at Fleet Base West, Rockingham in Western Australia. Exercise DUGONG 19, which also featured navies from the United States, United Kingdom, Canada and New Zealand, plays a major role in enhancing interoperability between participating nations in all facets of maritime mine warfare.

Royal Australian Navy tests shallow water mine countermeasures 925 001 Defence personnel from Australia, United States and New Zealand take part in a live underwater demolition exercise at Bindoon Military Training Area in Western Australia as part of Exercise DUGONG (Picture source: Commonwealth of Australia)

First conducted in 1988, this was the 18th iteration of Exercise DUGONG. The exercise provides a unique opportunity for members of our Navy to work closely with Australia’s international partners to develop skills in areas such as water space management and mine countermeasures.

The mine countermeasures tactical training exercise brings key coalition forces together in a combined environment to prepare them for mine countermeasures and diving operations.

Commanding Officer of Clearance Diving Team Four, Lieutenant Commander Ryan Post, said Exercise DUGONG 19 was a very successful exercise with all participating nations benefitting greatly from it.

Royal Canadian Navy Diving Officer Lieutenant Slava Khabiam said participating nations welcomed the chance to exchange various operational techniques with their coalition partners.

“This is important because in any mine countermeasure operation we would not be working on our own, but as an international team.

The Royal Australia Navy’s primary Mine Warfare and Clearance training activity were held in waters around Cockburn Sound coastal locations, Bindoon Training Area and the Western Australian Exercise Area from 7-25 November 2019. Personnel from the navies of Australia, the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada and New Zealand took part in the exercise.

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