International mine countermeasure exercise

Published 12:05 PM ET, Mon September 24, 2012
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A small boat with two unmanned underwater vehicles on board is lowered into the Arabian Gulf as the U.S. Navy and more than three dozen other countries take part in an minesweeping exercise. The at-sea maneuvers involve surface ships, aircraft and underwater "explosive ordnance disposal" diving teams during the nearly two weeks of International Mine Countermeasure Exercise. Chris Lawrence/cnn
The sun sets over the Arabian Gulf, seen from the deck of the USS Ponce. Chris Lawrence/cnn
A mine-detecting radar submersible sits on the deck of the USS Warrior, a mine countermeasure ship in the Gulf. Chris Lawrence/cnn
A MH-53E Sea Dragon, an anti-mine helicopter, lands on the deck of the USS Ponce in the Arabian Gulf. Chris Lawrence/cnn
A gunner mans a .50-caliber machine gun on the deck of USS Ponce in the Arabian Gulf. Chris Lawrence/cnn
Gen. James Mattis, U.S. Centcom commander, addresses his troops at the start of the International Mine Countermeasures Exercise. Chris Lawrence/cnn
French dive teams push out for mine detection exercises in the Arabian Gulf. Chris Lawrence/cnn
"Four-stack" bunks make for a tight fit onboard the USS Ponce. The Ponce was rapidly refitted this year into an Afloat Forward Staging Base. Chris Lawrence/cnn