Australia and partner nations conclude Exercise DUGONG 19

5 December 2019 (Last Updated December 5th, 2019 10:21)

Mine warfare and dive teams from five countries have concluded the 18th iteration of Exercise Dugong at Fleet Base West, Rockingham in Western Australia.

Australia and partner nations conclude Exercise DUGONG 19
A member of the RAN Clearance Diving Team Four conducts shooting drills at Bindoon Military Training Area in Western Australia as part of Exercise DUGONG. Credit: © Commonwealth of Australia 2019.

Mine warfare and dive teams from five countries have concluded the 18th iteration of Exercise Dugong at Fleet Base West, Rockingham in Western Australia.

Exercise DUGONG 19, an international mine countermeasure exercise hosted by the Royal Australian Navy, began on 11 November.

Forces from the US Navy, the British Royal Navy and the navies of Canada and New Zealand also participated in the exercise.

The two-week exercise was designed to increase interoperability among participating nations in maritime mine warfare.

The RAN stated that DUGONG allowed its personnel to train with partner nations in mine countermeasures and water space management.

Clearance Diving Team Four commanding officer lieutenant commander Ryan Post said: “DUGONG provides very shallow water mine countermeasure training, using both autonomous vehicles and clearance divers from participating nations.

“By bringing in our coalition partners we can work on our integration and improve how we operate together in the area of very shallow water mine countermeasures.”

The field training exercise involved very shallow water mine countermeasures, counter-improvised explosive device, explosive ordnance disposal, expeditionary reconnaissance and clearance drills.

Participating forces practised contemporary mine warfare and dive salvage techniques during the exercise.

Royal Canadian Navy diving officer lieutenant Slava Khabiam said: “Canada has been participating in DUGONG for the past few years and the exercise is very beneficial for our team as it allows us to develop our ability to integrate into an international environment.

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

Exercise DUGONG was first conducted in 1988.