Navy's Mideast task force completes first manned-unmanned exercise

By Audrey Decker / October 27, 2021 at 11:09 AM

The Navy's newly formed unmanned task force completed its first manned-unmanned exercise off the coast of Bahrain.

Task Force 59 integrated new Man-Portable Tactical Autonomous System unmanned surface vessels alongside manned maritime vessels during the two-day New Horizon exercise, according to a Navy statement issued yesterday.

“This marked the first time [Naval Forces Central Command] integrated USVs with manned assets at sea in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations. New Horizon was also the first time for NAVCENT’s integration of USVs with manned assets at sea alongside partner forces,” according to the release.

The exercise featured the Mantas T-12, a small USV used for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance.

The Navy established Task Force 59 in early September to put more unmanned systems above, on and below the sea.

Small-scale exercises will help Task Force 59 prepare for International Maritime Exercise 22, a large-scale exercise taking place early next year.