Massive US-Led Anti-Mining Drill in Persian Gulf a Disaster

Less Than Half of Practice Mines Actually Found

More than 30 nations engaged in what is being called the single largest naval drill in human history aimed to find 29 simulated sea mines planted in the water. The results were not very good, according to Captain Robert O’Donnell.

“I don’t think a great many were found,” O’Donnell said of the fake mines, saying that less than half of them were ever actually located. That is a stark difference from the official statement, which initially claimed “no missed mines.”

The long and short of it is that every anti-mining ship managed to find a mine, but most of them apparently found the same few, and most of the mines just stayed there for the duration of the exercise, undiscovered.

This isn’t exactly promising results if Iran indeed deploys hundreds or thousands of sea mines into the Straits of Hormuz. If the multi-week exercise couldn’t even find 29 practice mines, they seem woefully ill-prepared to fend off large numbers of the real thing.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.