ISMERLO participates in SMEREX 2018
TARANTO, Italy (November 14, 2018) The International Submarine Escape & Rescue Liaison Office (ISMERLO) based in Northwood, United Kingdom participated in SMEREX 2018, a major Submarine Escape and Rescue exercise in the Gulf of Taranto, off the Coast of Italy October 29 to November 8, 2018.
The exercise involved multiple ships, submarines and aircraft including the Greek submarine HS Matrozos, the Italian submarine ITS Romei and the Italian Navy auxiliary ship ITS Anteo among others.
These units conducted training in search, rescue and disembarkation from a damaged submarine. As the command and control platform, ITS Anteo served as the central hub for command and control of the exercise. The ship also served as a logistical platform throughout the exercise and embarked the medical and specialized team called the Submarine Parachute Assistance Group (SPAG), belonging to the Italian Navy Divers Command, La Spezia.
One submarine performing a distress call during an exercise lead the Italian frigate ITS Margottini, in the conduct of search operations. After locating the submarine approximately 50 meters from surface, the Command and Control was passed to ITS ANTEO. In this scenario ISMERLO supported the main rescue coordinator using their specialised community website. During the SMEREX 2018, ISMERLO website was used as the main tool to coordinate the exercise, in accordance with the procedures common to all participating nations, NATO and NON-NATO.
Observers from 9 submarine operating nations including Brasil, Chile, Ecuador, France, Israel, Pakistan, Russia, Spain, and Turkey followed the exercise from the command and control ship ITS ANTEO.
"SMEREX 2018 is an important, real world, multinational exercise and ISMERLO was honoured to participate for the second time,” said the ISMERLO Branch Head, Commander Gennaro Vitagliano (Italian Navy). "ISMERLO played an important role as the main coordinator for the exercise, this year with large number of observers, witnessing the importance of Submarine Search and Rescue exercises”.
The International Submarine Escape and Rescue Liaison Office (ISMERLO) is responsible for the promotion of international dialogue and planning through regular contact with NATO and non-NATO submarine operating nations and International Search and Rescue Organisations. ISMERLO endeavours to establish and maintain a global submarine rescue coordination capability that can be activated anytime in the event of a Distressed Submarine incident, anywhere in the world.