Mines cleared from Iraq/Kuwait coast

From Janes: article

A mine countermeasures task group involving 22 naval vessels and 640 personnel from four countries is nearing the end of a seven-week operation to survey and declare safe all known mine danger areas (MDAs) off the coasts of Iraq and Kuwait.

Led by the UK Royal Navy (RN), the 'historic ordnance disposal' mission is intended to encourage Iraqi maritime trade by facilitating a reduction in the insurance premiums charged to shipping companies operating in the northern Persian Gulf.

"Up until now we haven't had the technology to tackle this very shallow water area [less than 6 m deep]. It's the most demanding area for us as mine-warfare specialists," said Commander David Hunkin, who commands Coalition Task Group (CTG) 158.2. "We now have that technology; this is the first time it's been used and we're really pleased with the way it's worked."

I bet this won't be in the papers...
More here from the RN website.

The areas searched during this operation were the remnants of the MDAs created in 1991 and 2003 where Iraq had laid, or was suspected of laying, anti-invasion minefields. A considerable mine clearance effort had already been undertaken with over 1300 mines destroyed, however there were very shallow areas which have remained inaccessible for over 17 years. Using the very latest in coalition mine warfare technology, the force has been able to search these remaining areas and hopes to declare them ‘Former Mined Areas’. The operation has required more than 200 dives and over 100 remotely operated submersible vehicle runs.

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