ExercisesMiddle EastSea

France, UK and US navies hold Artemis Trident counter-mine exercise off Bahrain coast

The U.S., French and British navies have launched anti-mine exercises off Bahrain in support of the free movement of trade in Gulf waters, a military spokesperson said Monday.

“As mines threaten maritime traffic indiscriminately, the U.S., France and United Kingdom are dedicated to conducting tactical training to counter the risk of mines in order to support the continued free flow of commerce and freedom of navigation in this critical region,” said the U.S. Fifth Fleet, which is based in Bahrain.

Artemis Trident is a mine countermeasures exercise conducted by France’s Marine Nationale, the United Kingdom’s Royal Navy and the U.S. Navy in the Arabian Gulf focused on increasing interoperability and demonstrating the nations’ shared commitment to ensuring unfettered maritime operations, the Fifth Fleet said last week.

Artemis Trident 19 ships
US Navy expeditionary sea base USS Lewis B. Puller (ESB 3), fleet ocean tug USNS Catawba (T-ATF 168), Avenger-class mine countermeasures ship USS Sentry (MCM 3), Island-class coastal patrol boats USCGC Maui (WPB 1304) and USCGC Wrangell (WPB 1332); the United Kingdom Royal Navy’s RFA Cardigan Bay (L3009); the French Marine Nationale’s minehunters FS L’Aigle (M647) and FS Sagittaire (M650); the United Kingdom Royal Navy’s minehunters HMS Shoreham (M112) and HMS Ledbury (M30); and Mine Countermeasures Squadron (HM-15) MH-53E Sea Dragon helicopters navigate the Persian Gulf in formation during Artemis Trident 19. Image: Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Samantha P. Montenegro/US Navy

The exercise is “purely defensive,” Lieutenant Chloe Morgan, a spokesperson for the U.S. Navy, told AFP.

The small kingdom of Bahrain, allied with Gulf powerhouse Saudi Arabia, is located in the waters between the ingdom and its arch-nemesis Iran.

The archipelago is also home to a permanent British military base.

With reporting from AFP

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