Italian Leadership Highlighted as NATO & EUNAVFOR MED Operation Sophia Meet at Sea
MEDITERRANEAN SEA – On September 8, NATO Operation Sea Guardian focused security patrol flagship ITS Espero joined the EU Naval Forces Mediterranean Operation Sophia flagship, ITS San Marco, to discuss and further enhance the regular information exchange between OSG and Operation Sophia which allows for greater coordination and cooperation between NATO and EU missions.
The meeting at sea also presented an opportunity to conduct maneuver training between the units. In the afternoon the Commander of the Op Sophia Task Group, Admiral Alberto Maffeis, hosted Italian Navy Commander Alberto Fiorentino, OSG Task Group Commander, and together with members of the ITS Espero crew toured the Operation Sophia flagship ITS San Marco.
During the meeting the two Task groups' Commanders discussed the needs and importance of cooperation and coordination in the area between their assets in order to increase Maritime Situational Awareness for both organizations in an area of crucial importance to Allied nations.
The OSG focused security patrol is operating from 5th September together with Royal Navy ship HMS Echo and Croatian ship HRVS Vukovar, supported by submarine and maritime air assets from various countries, to patrol the Mediterranean Sea in order to collect information, monitor patterns-of-life and to detect suspicious activities at sea.
Sea Guardian is a NATO Non-Article 5 operation, which has been implemented in response to the evolving maritime security environment in the Mediterranean Sea and in order to adopt a flexible and comprehensive approach to the Maritime Security Operations.