ESP MINEX-23 is the Spanish Navy annual naval mine warfare exercise, which took place in Palma de Mallorca Bay and Alicante waters.
This exercise general concept is to plan and conduct Mine Countermeasures (MCM) operations in mined coastal waters, fictitious harbour entrances, including Very Shallow Water (VSW) operations and amphibious objective area, in order to allow friendly forces access from the sea to mainland under medium-high level asymmetric threat and low level conventional threat.
The officer scheduling the exercise was the “Almirante de la Flota”, Almirante Eugenio Diaz Del Rio (ALFLOT and Commander of EUROMARFOR), while the officer conducting it was the Commander of the Spanish Navy Mine Counter Measures Force (COMTEMECOM).
The EUROMARFOR activation ceremony was held in Puerto Pi Naval Station (Mallorca Island) and the Force Flag rising was graced by the presence of the Commander of the Mine Countermeasures Force (COMTEMECOM), Captain Javier Ruiz Ruiz de Cortázar that chaired the event on the 08th May, and so, the EMF MCM TG was activated from 08th May to 18th May in order to participate in ESP MINEX-23.
Cdr. José M. Liarte Ros, Commander of the First Minehunter Squadron, exercised the tactical command at sea of the EUROMARFOR MCM Group, made up on this occasion of 3 Spanish Navy minehunters (‘Segura’, ‘Sella’ and ‘Duero’), 1 French minehunter (‘Lyre’), 1 Italian minehunter (‘Viareggio’) and an Italian officer as part of his Multinational General Staff, that was integrated in the flagship in order to support the COMGRUEUROMARFOR.
Considering the adverse weather conditions and that the exercise objectives had been completed, it was decided to end it on May 18th.
With this participation, EUROMARFOR had the opportunity to engage an EMF TG in an advanced multinational exercise.
This occasion provided the best high-end training, improving and increasing MHC’s and MCM Diving Teams training in MCM operations, promoting the cooperation and mutual understanding among participants from different nationalities, keeping the readiness of the EUROMARFOR forces and showed once more EUROMARFOR as a ready, useful and available tool in the maritime domain.
Along with EUROMARFOR and the Spanish Navy, ESP MINEX 23 had the Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group-2 (SNMCMG-2) participation, with as well Underwater Unmanned Vehicles (UUV’s) detachments from Belgian and US Navies, enhancing the cooperation and interoperability among those maritime forces.
EUROMARFOR has participated in ten editions of exercise ESP MINEX since 2011.
EUROMARFOR is 28 years at sea for peace