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US Trains With Aussie, New Zealand Counterparts to Neutralize Mine Threats

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Mine warfare units from the United States, Australia and New Zealand participated in Exercise Dugong 24, which tested their capabilities to neutralize sea mines.

The training ran from March 4 to 22 and involved integration, training and tactical stages, with the latter phase tasking the participants to conduct mine countermeasures and explosive ordnance disposal operations.

Composite units from the three countries deployed autonomous underwater vehicles from ADV Guidance ship to identify the mines using sonar and video.

The participating forces include a team of autonomous underwater vehicle operators, whose role covers mission planning and execution, AUV launch and recovery, and post-mission analysis.

Australian vessels Diamantina and Gascoyne also carried out clearance activities while diving teams from the partner nations conducted mine clearance and improvised explosive device operations from ashore.

Over 80 personnel aboard Guidance supported the exercise, which showcased a new capability to rapidly deploy advanced smart sea mines from submarines, ships and aircraft.

Capt. Scott Craig, the exercise director, said the event tested the integration of old and emerging capabilities as the Royal Australian Navy adopted modern equipment.

“This is a great international activity that demonstrates our abilities across those three nations,” he added.

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