Wednesday, July 18, 2012

20 Nations to Stage Anti-Mining Exercise in Middle East

The U.S. Defense Department has announced that 20 nations will stage a joint anti-mining exercise in multiple waterways in the region on 16-27 September. The exercise will focus on countermeasures against any threats, presumably from Iran, to mine the strategic waterways. (Associated Press)

“This is a defensive exercise aimed at preserving freedom of navigation in the international waterways of the Middle East and aimed at promoting regional stability,” Defense Department spokesman George Little told reporters on Tuesday. (AP, 18 July)

The exercise will practice mine countermeasures in multiple waterways. It will demonstrate "the international community's ability to work together to ensure free and secure trade," said CENTCOM Commander Gen. James Mattis.

Word of the exercise follows Monday’s announcement that the U.S. Navy will deploy aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis to the Persian Gulf/Arabian Sea in September. The Pentagon also recently doubled the number of minesweepers in the region. And it sent the USS Ponce, an amphibious transport dock recently retrofitted to become an afloat forward staging base in the Persian Gulf.

The Pentagon has not released the name of the other nations participating in the exercise, leaving it to individual countries to make the announcement.


Anonymous said...

Soon.....Assad will attack Israel

It is his last card....will Iran have the courage help Assad and fire missles at Israel?

mat said...

'US Navy’s movements in Persian Gulf for propaganda: Iran cmdr.'
Wed Jul 18, 2012 3:53PM GMT

Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guard Corps (IRGC) Navy says repositioning of US warships in the Persian Gulf is for propaganda purposes and incited by their fear of Iran.

“Enemy’s fear of the Islamic Republic of Iran's threat is the main cause of such movements,” Rear Admiral Ali Fadavi said on Wednesday.

He made the comments following arrival of the USS Ponce in the Persian Gulf to join the US Fifth Fleet in Bahrain earlier this month.

“Members of IRGC Navy are monitoring all enemy’s movements in the region,” the Iranian commander added.

He stated that the IRGC Navy has gained great experiences in past years and promoted its readiness.

Unknown said...

I presume Belgium will be among them since they have the most experiance and are specialised in this 'minesweeping'.

Anonymous said...

Anon 1:09 PM

At this moment of time Israel could be Assad's only friend.LOL!

mat said...

'US unable to demine Strait of Hormuz: IRGC cmdr.'
Thu Jul 19, 2012 7:49AM GMT

An Iranian commander has downplayed the US move to dispatch modern mine sweepers to the Persian Gulf in a bid to prevent the possible closure of the Strait of Hormuz.

“Americans talk a lot about different things, but in practice they are faced with problems. We have no doubt that the United States can’t do anything in the minesweeping sphere," said Deputy Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) naval forces Rear Admiral Mahmoud Fahimi on Wednesday.

He added that the IRGC naval forces have mastered different mines technologies and have no difficulty designing and producing mines.

The commander also described the US use of unmanned mine sweepers as a sign of weakness, saying, “If they had the ability to counter, they will certainly use manned mine clearance systems as the task is almost impossible for unmanned systems to carry out.”

The Iranian commander emphasized that in addition to Iran's minesweeping know-how, the IRGC Navy has other capabilities which the US would understand when the time is right.

The IRGC official’s remarks came after the United States announced on Tuesday that it will hold a massive demining operation near the Persian Gulf on September 16-27 in cooperation with 20 other countries.