Italian Navy Commences Exercise Open Sea 2021

On Monday 4 October 2021, the Open Sea 2021 , the largest air and naval exercise of the Italian Navy that will take place in the waters of the Adriatic Sea, the Ionian Sea, the Strait of Sicily and the Tyrrhenian Sea, after more than a year and a half in which the pandemic had prevented its regular execution.

For twenty-four days , more than 4,000 men and women belonging to 9 different Marines , allies and partners, 21 naval units , 4 AV-8B aircraft and 17 helicopters embarked, including two combat units of the Italian Army, 3 national submarines, aircraft of the ‘Air Force and P72 (maritime patrol), P180 land-based aircraft will be involved in training activities with increasing difficulty in order to train the commanders and embarked staff of the Naval Squad, to conduct operations in possible areas of international crisis.

Ships and crews will exercise to consolidate and increase the ability to deal with the main forms of struggle on the sea and from the sea, to prevent and combat illicit trafficking on the sea, to manage crises characterized by the presence of conventional and asymmetrical threats, in addition to management. of harmful events of an endogenous nature.

The main objectives include the certification of the command of the Third Naval Division and of the Marina San Marco Brigade respectively as Commander Amphibious Task Force and Commander Landing Force as assets that will be committed to the NATO rapid response force in 2022 (NATO Response Force – NRF 2022). For this reason, the Open Sea 2021 will have a strong aeronaval-amphibious connotation , with the presence of a landing force composed of about 400 Navy riflemen of the Marina San Marco Brigade, who will conduct power projection activities from the sea in support of populations affected by crisis situations.

As happened in previous editions, the Open Sea 2021 will also see the participation of 45 students from 9 different universities: the University of Bari, the University of Genoa, the Free International University of Social Studies (LUISS) of Rome, the University for Foreigners of Siena, the Sant’Anna University of Pisa, the University of Catania, the University of Perugia, the Federico II University of Naples and the University of Trieste. Students and accompanying teachers will be integrated into the staff embarked on the units of the Naval Squadron and will exercise the roles of political advisors, legal advisors, public information officers or will try their hand at highly technological systems of propulsion and naval architecture and exploration of the Marine environment.

The purpose of the Open Sea is to improve the levels of effectiveness and operational readiness of the naval instrument of the Navy and to favor the process of interforce integration with the other Armed Forces, the foreign Navies and the agencies of the national maritime cluster, increasingly indispensable for ensure, in a holistic way, the defense of national interests , in particular by strengthening the presence and maritime surveillance of the Mediterranean.

The Navy, which has always been involved in the conduct of presence and surveillance activities to protect national interests on the sea, thanks to the intervention capabilities inherent in the aeronaval instrument, carries out constant maritime surveillance activities, a capacity already consolidated and indispensable for the protection of national interests, among which the control activities of the national Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) deserve particular mention, intended as an extension, towards the high seas, of the domestic jurisdiction regarding the protection of the marine environment and related economic resources (natural, mining and energy).

The exercise will end on October 27th.

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