NATO Maritime Task Group in Western Mediterranean for Operation Sea Guardian
MEDITERRANEAN SEA - Three NATO ships, French frigate FS Guepratte, Italian frigate ITS Scirocco and Spanish off-shore patrol vessel ESPS Serviola are plying the waters of the western Mediterranean today, training together to participate in NATO’s maritime security operation, Operation Sea Guardian.
The group was briefed by the Commander, Allied Maritime Command, Vice Admiral Clive Johnstone, on Monday at French Rapid Reaction Force (FRMARFOR) facilities at Toulon Naval Base in Toulon, France before getting underway later that day.
Operation Sea Guardian is a NATO Maritime Security Operation with three standing tasks of maritime counter terrorism, maritime situational awareness and regional maritime capacity building. Allied Maritime Command builds regular Task Group formations for Operation Sea Guardian to focus on specific areas of the Mediterranean.
This is the first time the Task Group has been led by a French Navy Captain and included a French frigate. While sailing to the focused operations area, the group conducted intensive training in seamanship, cross boarding and naval gunfire.
Operation Sea Guardian is a standing operation, meaning Allied Maritime Command is continuously monitoring the Mediterranean Sea for security concerns. Focused operations like this effort help further develop the NATO maritime understanding of daily patterns of life and offer the opportunity to enhance security across the region.