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Jun 20 2024

Operation Sea Guardian: NATO's Vigilance in the Central Mediterranean

NORTHWOOD, United Kingdom – NATO’s Operation Sea Guardian (OSG) flagship HRV Dubrovnik supported by ALS Butrinti conducted focused maritime patrols in the Adriatic and Central Mediterranean Seas.

This was the third maritime focused patrol of 2024, gathering information on the local pattern of life, a significant contribution to develop and maintain Maritime Situational Awareness (MSA) in this important region.

During their three-week deployment, HRV Dubrovnik and ALS Butrinti engaged with merchant and fishing vessels, as well as other transiting ships, providing reassurance to local mariners and informing them of the vital support NATO provides for the maritime community. A total of 1424 vessels were investigated in the area with valuable insights gained.

Supporting the patrols were Maritime Patrol Aircraft and Airborne Early Warning Aircraft from Greece, Italy and Türkiye. NATO Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Force (NISRF) supported the patrols, bringing NATOs high end unmanned aerial drone into the operation.

Left: Passing exercise (PASSEX) between Operation Sea Guardian Task Group and Standing NATO Mine Counter Measures Group 2 (SNMCMG2). In the photo, ALS Butrinti and ESPS Segura. Right: gathering information on the local pattern of life in international waters of the Central Mediterranean.

The collaboration between the Croatian vessel Dubrovnik and the Albanian vessel Butrinti worked flawless underscoring the importance of working together side by side as allies achieving operational objectives, proving a rewarding experience for both teams. By participating in Sea Guardian FOCOPS 24-3, both teams actively contributed to NATO’s missions, enhancing maritime situational awareness and strengthening efforts against maritime terrorism.

Furthermore, during their deployment, the task group conducted exercises with Standing NATO Mine Counter Measure Group Two (SNMCMG2), enhancing interoperability and professional skills.

OSG is a non-Article 5 maritime security operation of NATO aimed at working with Mediterranean stakeholders and NATO partners to maintain maritime situational awareness, deter and counter terrorism and enhance capacity building, through cooperation and interoperability, promoting mutual benefits.

Story by Public Affairs Office at MARCOM

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