NATO Operation Sea Guardian in Eastern Mediterranean

April 23, 2021 – The third focused patrol of NATO’s Operation Sea Guardian for 2021 commenced on 21 April in the Eastern Mediterranean. It focuses mainly on gathering information about maritime activities in the international waters encompassing a wide range of threats as well as shipping pattern-of-life, alongside enhancing partnerships in the area and assuring readiness to counter terrorism threats at sea.

NATO Operation Sea Guardian (OSG) was launched in 2016 as a non-Article 5 maritime security operation aimed at working with Mediterranean stakeholders to maintain maritime situational awareness, deter and counter terrorism and enhance capacity building.

This OSG focused patrol will have two commands at sea for the very first time since the operation begun, increasing complexity but also showing flexibility in the planning and execution. Thus, it is led sequentially, first by the Turkish frigate Orucreis, followed by the Italian frigate Margottini during the second command period. HMS Trent will also support the patrol.

These surface ships are supported by submarines and aircraft from Italy, Spain and Turkey.

Appropriate COVID-19 measures were taken while preparing for the operation, similarly to previous patrols over the last year, to ensure crews are able to operate safely carrying out NATO mission.

The patrol will feature a passing exercise with the Egyptian Navy and a visit to the port of Alexandria, Egypt, one of NATO’s partners in the Eastern Mediterranean.

With each OSG focused engagement, NATO seeks to further develop our partnerships so that they continue to meet the interests of both Allies and partners. Over the last few years, the number of partner units certified and evaluated to NATO standards has increased, new partners have joined interoperability programs, and opportunities for partner participation in NATO exercises have been widened. These relationships offer valuable opportunities to prevent conflicts and develop regional security and stability through dialogue, confidence-building, and increased transparency.

USN photo

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