The NATO Task Group led by of Hellenic Navy Captain Ioannis Retsas, comprised flagship Hellenic frigate HS Navarinon, Italian frigate ITS Margottini, and Romanian frigate ROS Regina Maria, with their respective organic helicopters.
I deeply appreciate every unit that participated, each playing a pivotal role in the success of this FOCOPS. Together, Allies and Partners, we've showcased the strength of collaboration, the commitment to safety, and the vision for a secure maritime environment
The Force Assembly of the Task Group was organized at Souda naval base in Crete, Greece. There, a maritime boarding team from Georgia embarked the flagship, marking Georgia's first participation as Operational Partner to NATO’s Operation Sea Guardian. The involvement of the Georgian Coast Guard highlighted the mission's comprehensive approach to maritime security.
For three weeks, the units of the task group sailed the Eastern Mediterranean, contributing to maritime safety in the region. Boarding teams from the participating frigates engaged with mariners from passing ships to gain a better understanding of the maritime situation and to inform mariners about Operation Sea Guardian.
Cooperative training with the Egyptian Navy began with a passing exercise involving Egyptian frigate ENS Bernees on Sept. 24 and continued the following three days during the Task Group’s port visit in Alexandria, Egypt. The visit included a maritime security workshop and boarding teams training involving personnel from MARCOM and NATO Maritime Interdiction Operations Training Centre.
During the port visit in Alexandria, the Task Group commander and ships’ commanding officers met with the Commander of the Egyptian Navy Vice Admiral Ashraf Ibrahim Atwa Megahed and the commander of the Alexandria Naval Base.
"OSG FOCOPS 23-5 was not just an operation but a statement of unity and collective effort,” Retsas said. “I deeply appreciate every unit that participated, each playing a pivotal role in the success of this FOCOPS. Together, Allies and Partners, we've showcased the strength of collaboration, the commitment to safety, and the vision for a secure maritime environment."
OSG FOCOPS 23-5 underlined the essence of NATO maritime security operations and partnerships. With Georgia participating at the forefront and with the cooperative training with Egypt, the operation not only contributed to safeguarding the waters but also paved the way for future enhanced collaboration in the domain of maritime security.
OSG is a MARCOM-led year-round maritime security operation aimed at maintaining Maritime Situational Awareness, counterterrorism, and capacity building among NATO Allies and partners.