NATO continues its Focused Patrols under Operation Sea Guardian
MEDITERRANEAN SEA - Three NATO ships, a submarine and several air assets including maritime patrol aircraft, E3 airborne early warning aircraft supported by numerous associated ships and submarines, are currently conducting a focused security patrol in the central and western Mediterranean Sea.
This Task Group is under the Command of Commander Pedro Cardona (Spanish Navy), Commanding Officer of the Spanish frigate ESPS Reina Sofia and includes the French frigate FS Courbet, the British frigate HMS Duncan and an Italian Navy submarine.
"OSG has proved vital for the security of NATO countries, since it allows us to better understand the maritime domain in the Mediterranean and, thus, to identify situations potentially linked to terrorism or other criminal activities” said Commander Cardona. "The interoperability of all these naval and air assets, is a key enabler to achieve our objectives.”
This security patrol is focused on gathering information about activities at sea and investigating possible maritime security issues. As part of maintaining an understanding of activities at sea, the ships of OSG visit many different vessels in the Mediterranean in order to get a better understanding of what is going on and possible security concerns. So far on this Focused Security Patrol, the ships have visited several ships including commercial, fishing and pleasure boats. During the visits, ship’s boarding teams inspect a vessel’s documentation and also exchanged pleasantries with fishing and pleasure vessels and shared information about what is going on in the area.
Support and cooperation from maritime patrol aircraft and NATO’s E3 airborne early warning aircraft as well as submarines enabled the ships to maintain a multi-domain view of maritime activities. The coordination and information sharing with EU’s Operation Sophia and based on daily reports, intentions and a shared maritime picture, greatly enhances the efficiency and reach of this focused operation.