On 12 October 2021, as part of the training activity of the Navy called Mare Aperto 2021, an exercise was carried out that actively involved the merchant ship “Eurocargo Malta” of the Grimaldi Group, the Italian Shipowners’ Confederation (CONFITARMA), the Command in Chief of the Naval Squad (CINCNAV) with its Operations Center and the FREMM frigate “Carabiniere”. The Navy has always been involved in presence and surveillance activities to protect national interests on the sea, among which the ability to control of the newly established National Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), intended as an extension, towards the high seas, of the domestic jurisdiction regarding the protection of the marine environment and related economic resources (natural, mineral and energy).
From 4 to 27 October, after more than a year and a half in which the pandemic had prevented its regular development, the Navy is again conducting the open sea air exercise, the largest and most important training activity of the Navy which takes place in Ionian Sea and Tyrrhenian Sea. The exercise aims to improve the levels of effectiveness and operational readiness of the Naval Squad, favor the integration process with the other Armed Forces, the foreign Navies as well as with the components of the national maritime cluster in order to ensure the defense of interests of the country, also through the strengthening of the maritime presence and surveillance in the Mediterranean.
As part of the exercise, Nave CARABINIERE simulated a maritime presence and surveillance operation aimed at controlling the imposition of a naval embargo. In this scenario, the M / N EUROCARGO MALTA was intercepted by the Military Unit.
Despite the unfavorable weather conditions that limited the practical activity in compliance with the safety conditions of the exercise, all the training phases (planning, acquisition of information elements, operation of helicopters and organic naval vehicles, kinematic maneuvers to approach the target and final phase of the recovery of air and surface vehicles) were completed contributing to a largely positive balance of the exercise, confirming the consolidated synergy between the Command in Chief of the Naval Squad, CONFITARMA and the Grimaldi Group in sharing useful information for the protection of Italian crews and ships.
In particular, the effective level of coordination between the military authorities and the exponents of the shipping company emerged, thanks to which it was possible to verify the full compliance of the security plans implemented by Eurocargo Malta (the so-called Security Plan of the Ship – SSP) and the ability of a rapid intervention by the Navy unit.