Explosive experts from the Royal Australian Navy’s Clearance Diving Teams One and Four have linked up with their counterparts from Canada, New Zealand and the United States for Exercise Hydracrab.
The Guam-based quadrilateral exercise brought together over a hundred Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) personnel from four countries to practice operations together in an Indo-Pacific environment.
Eighteen Australian personnel in two EOD teams, as well as a small command element, have taken the opportunity to exchange subject matter expertise with their overseas counterparts.
Commanding Officer of the Royal Australian Navy’s Clearance Diving Team One, Lieutenant Commander Thomas Mobbs said Hydracrab had given all four participating nations invaluable experience working together in a training environment as dynamic as a real-world operation.
“The United States Navy has considerable resources available to provide high-end warfighter training, and this gives our EOD technicians the opportunity to integrate with partner forces and be challenged in ways hard to emulate in Australia,” LCDR Mobbs said.
“Our Clearance Divers have been conducting high-end mine countermeasures and EOD warfighting scenarios integrated with partner nation Marine, Air and Naval Forces, and this will culminate in a training mission event combining all forces.”
Seaman Clearance Diver Peter Greed said the opportunity to exchange knowledge and gain hands-on experience with an allied nation’s equipment was just as important as the training serials.
“Exposure to how other forces refine their skill sets and getting a chance to see emerging EOD technology highlights where we should focus our own efforts to test our own skill sets and remain at the forefront of our trade,” SMN Greed said.
“We work with the US, Canada and New Zealand regularly in other multinational exercises, but it’s important for us to practice how we interoperate so we’re ready to fight together.”
The RAN’s Clearance Diving Teams One and Four are based in Sydney and Perth, respectively.