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Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Mine Countermeasure ship arrives in Bahrain

MANAMA, Bahrain -- USS Gladiator (MCM 11), an Avenger-class mine countermeasure ship, arrived in Bahrain Jan. 23.

The 1,300 ton, 224-foot Gladiator is one of two new Avenger-class minesweepers that will be forward deployed here.

Gladiator and another mine countermeasure ship are replacing two recently decommissioned coastal mine hunters. The arrival of the two sister ships will maintain the current U.S. Navy presence of four mine countermeasure ships in the region.

“Mines are indiscriminate in their victims. They pose a threat to all maritime traffic, regardless of nationality or purpose,” said Deputy Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command Rear Adm. Scott Swift. “Gladiator contributes to an important defensive capability for the coalition maritime force in our efforts to help safeguard the region’s vital links to the global economy."

Gladiator joins USS Dextrous (MCM 13) and USS Ardent (MCM 12) in support of ongoing Maritime Security Operations (MSO). Mine countermeasure ships provide the ability to protect ships and their crews from seemingly invisible threats in the water. Additionally, seaborne mine countermeasure ships contribute to MSO by conducting waterborne security missions and protecting oil platforms. The ships also perform escort duties, direct liaison and joint operations with coalition patrol forces and combatants.

"Maritime security operations help ensure local commerce can benefit this region and the world. Gladiator’s capabilities demonstrate our commitment to freedom of navigation,” said Swift. “We work closely with regional partners to provide security from mines in international waters so all commercial shipping can operate safely while transiting the region."

For further questions, please contact Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command/Commander, U.S. 5th Fleet Public Affairs Office at 011-973-1785-4027 or PAO.

Created at 1/23/2007 4:51 AM by Boughen, MAJ Marie A.

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