The U.S. Navy has eight minesweepers in the Persian Gulf right now, four of which are based in San Diego. Navy officials told the New York Times they're sending two additional crews to help operate the minesweepers, along with unmanned robotic tools to detect mines:
The Navy says it has come up with plans to increase its deployments of the latest generation of robotic equipment that can detect and remotely detonate mines as a way to help guarantee a continued — and credible — countermine ability in waters off Iran into next year and beyond, when the number of minesweeping ships on patrol may be reduced.
As Home Post reported last spring, the minesweepers left San Diego in late April after being loaded onto cargo ships headed to the Persian Gulf. Those minesweepers are the USS Sentry (MCM 3), USS Devastator (MCM 6), USS Pioneer (MCM 9), and USS Warrior (MCM 10).
According to the New York Times, the Navy hopes to send the San Diego-based minesweepers back home next year, if tension in the Persian Gulf eases.
Wonder what these unmanned minesweeping robots look like? Well, the Navy has released video of civilian defense contractors operating the Kingfish Unmanned Underwater Vehicle during the International Mine Countermeasures Exercise 2012 back in September. I've posted the video up top.