US and UK Forces Conducted a Bilateral Mine Countermeasure Exercise, Poseidon’s Chalice

By U.S. Naval Forces Central Command | April 07, 2024

MANAMA, Bahrain --

U.S. and the United Kingdom Naval Forces conducted a bilateral mine countermeasures exercise Poseidon's Chalice in the Arabian Sea from Feb. 24 - March 16.

The primary focus of the exercise was to maximize training opportunities in mine warfare and explosive ordinance disposal training. This was conducted through an integration of naval assets from the Royal Navy and U.S. Navy, and additional training opportunities to include: mine sweeping elements, anti-terrorism operations, small boat operations, an underway replenishment-at-sea and damage control drill.

Participating in the exercise was Royal Fleet Auxiliary Bay-class landing ship RFA Cardigan Bay, Avenger-class mine countermeasures USS Gladiator (MCM 11) and Avenger-class mine countermeasures USS Sentry (MCM 3), as well as explosive ordinance disposal teams from Task Force 56.

"Our collaboration with the Royal Navy, the RFA Cardigan Bay, USS Sentry and U.S. expeditionary mine countermeasures force during this exercise has enabled us to enhance our core mine warfare capabilities and foster a stronger alliance and more effective response to emerging threats,” said Lt. Cmdr. Joseph Minnich, USS Gladiator executive officer.

During the exercise, the two navies conducted a broad range of simulations and training evolutions ensuring interoperability and full integration of the forces. Two mine sweeping evolutions were conducted demonstrating the ability to deploy mine sweeping equipment to combat moored mines in the Arabian Sea and the surrounding area of operations.

“Through our partnership, we've refined tactics, techniques and procedures making us better equipped to promote a collective commitment to maritime security and stability in the region," said Minnich.

In July, 2023, the U.S. and UK naval forces completed a similar weeklong training exercise in the Arabian Gulf called Neptune’s Kilt. The exercise included more than 500 Sailors and Airmen from four surface ships, two MH-53E Sea Dragon helicopters, and four A-10 Thunderbolt II aircraft.

The U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations encompasses nearly 2.5 million square miles of water area and includes the Arabian Gulf, Gulf of Oman, Red Sea, parts of the Indian Ocean and three critical choke points at the Strait of Hormuz, Suez Canal and Bab al-Mandeb.