- The Washington Times - Monday, April 8, 2013

The United States will join 29 other naval powers for a massive sea drill to practice mine-sweeping and ship-escort maneuvers in the Persian Gulf.

The International Mine Countermeasures Exercise is set for May 3-30, The Jerusalem Post reported.

Previous similar naval exercises came during times of high tension between Israel and Iran. During last year’s sea drill, for example, Iran vowed to block the heavily traveled Strait of Hormuz — the main transport system for the gulf’s oil and gas.

This drill — which in part trains against pirate attacks — comes at a time of relative peace for the allied players, The Post reported.

“This multidisciplinary defense exercise is focused on maritime security for commerce and trade from the port of origin to the port of arrival,” Commodore Simon Ancona, deputy commander of the Combined Maritime Forces, said in a statement reported by The Post.