The Multi-lateral mine countermeasures (MCM) exercise Artemis Trident (AT) 21 has successfully concluded in the Arabian Gulf.

The French Marine Nationale, the Royal Australian Navy (RAN), the British Royal Navy, and the US Navy took part in the MCM drill. AT 21 started on 18 April and ended on 29 April.

Exercise Artemis Trident is aimed at enhancing mine hunting and communications interoperability.

According to the US Navy, the latest drill was the fifth iteration in the series of MCM exercises between the four partner nations.

Royal Navy Task Force (TF) 52 deputy commander captain Don Crosbie said: “This exercise served to refine our procedures as a multi-national MCM task force.

“We were excited to be able to integrate next generation technology with current capabilities in order to enhance our overall readiness.”

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As part of the defensive exercise, coalition forces participated in several simulated scenarios designed to provide training for maritime security, force protection, and dive operations.

Alongside the traditional MCM capabilities, such as mine hunting ships and aircraft, the exercise also included unmanned underwater systems.

More than 700 personnel, seven MCM ships, two patrol boats, three expeditionary MCM companies, as well as two helicopters from the four nations, participated in the exercise.

Throughout the exercise, the Royal Navy’s landing ship dock RFA Cardigan Bay (L 3009) served as flag ship.

TF 52 commander captain Oscar Rojas said: “AT 21 reinforced the need for interoperability, flexibility and adaptability between our coalition partners, especially as we adopt and employ new technology like unmanned systems and artificial intelligence to our evolving inventory of MCM capabilities.”

US 5th Fleet area of operations includes the Arabian Gulf, Gulf of Oman, Red Sea and parts of the Indian Ocean and encompasses area of some 2.5 million square miles.