NATO and Allies increased their patrolling presence in the North and Baltic Seas and stepped up intelligence sharing. Allies united in their agreement to enhance their common efforts to improve critical undersea and energy infrastructure security do so by increasing their military presence, where appropriate, with ships and patrol aircraft.
NATO’s HQ Allied Maritime Command (HQ MARCOM) has played a key role in this joint effort, including with increased coordination of surface vessels and air assets – by both Maritime Patrol Aircraft and maritime Unmanned Aerial Vehicles - from the High North to the eastern Mediterranean. The result is the acquisition of more knowledge and data, leading to improved Maritime Situational Awareness (MSA) in a wide range of matters, including areas of critical infrastructure.
We conduct maritime surveillance to understand the pattern of life, to notice security-relevant anomalies and to react wherever and whenever on short notice. We are always prepared to respond to urgent tasking. That is exactly the core of a High Readiness Taskforce
“Since last October, besides the airspace management, we coordinated a great number of flights over the areas of offshore infrastructure, in close cooperation with Allies and Partners,” said Commodore Ilias Raptis, Commander Maritime Air NATO. “This coordination added significant value to NATO MSA.”
Standing NATO Maritime Group 1 (SNMG1) also currently operates in the North and Baltic Seas. While the ships exercise and train, they are simultaneously monitoring the area.
NATO MARITIME ASSETS PLAY KEY ROLE IN OFFSHORE CRITICAL INFRASTRUCTURE SECURITY
“The wide variety of capabilities that rests within SNMG1 allows us a balanced, proportional and flexible force posture against any threat,” said Rear Admiral T.G. Marx, Commander SNMG1. “We conduct maritime surveillance to understand the pattern of life, to notice security-relevant anomalies and to react wherever and whenever on short notice. We are always prepared to respond to urgent tasking. That is exactly the core of a High Readiness Taskforce.”
The NATO Shipping Centre has continued its core business of providing a strong link between commercial shipping and NATO’s naval operations. It significantly contributes to MARCOM’s maritime situational awareness, with a renewed focus on critical infrastructure by monitoring potential threats to infrastructure within the commercial maritime domain. MARCOM’s staff from NSC maintains constant communication with the shipping industry to ensure shared understanding of commercial maritime activity.
As the central hub for all NATO’s maritime operations, MARCOM has command of NATO’s four permanently assigned groups of ships, along with several Air Assets and Submarines provided by Allies to accomplish tasks and missions as needed. Their presence demonstrates NATO’s readiness and resolve to defend Allied territory and interests.