The Royal Australian Navy (RAN) has officially christened the new mine warfare team at the HMAS Waterhen shore installation in Sydney.

Christened after the 16th Mine Sweeping Squadron, the new Australia Mine Warfare Team 16 is expected to bolster the mine warfare capabilities of the RAN.

RAN Chief of Navy vice-admiral Tim Barrett said: “The team’s formation follows a major review of navy’s mine clearance capability.

"The review and restructure will deliver a sustainable, full-spectrum, deployable mine warfare capability."

“This has resulted in a significant workforce restructure and the delivery of upgraded mine warfare and clearance diving systems.

“Ultimately, the review and restructure will deliver a sustainable, full-spectrum, deployable mine warfare capability to enable future expeditionary maritime task group operations.”

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According to Australia Mine Warfare Team 16 commanding officer lieutenant commander Ryan Carmichael, the newly formed team will be assigned a key role in aligning mine warfare and clearance diving with Navy Strategy 2018.

Navy Strategy 2018, which was launched at RAN’s maritime warfare training centre HMAS Watson last year, aims to secure a naval force that will be able to generate and deploy a self-supported and sustainable maritime task groups that can engage in a range of maritime security operations with lethality.

Specifically, the strategy outlines the means to achieve the objectives set by Chief of Navy, vice-admiral Tim Barrett, in Plan Pelorus – Navy Strategy 2018.

Image: RAN lieutenant commander Ryan Carmichael leading the Australian Mine Warfare Team 16. Photo: courtesy of ABIS Bonny Gassner / Royal Australian Navy.