Portugal Deploys Submarine on Operation NATO SEA GUARDIAN

The submarine Arpão left March 25th from the Lisbon Naval Base to join NATO’s Operation SEA GUARDIAN and later participate in the European Union’s Operation IRINI.

Operation NATO SEA GUARDIAN aims to promote maritime security in the Mediterranean Sea in order to guarantee freedom of navigation and situational awareness of the area, with a focus on narcotics, weapons and people trafficking activities, maritime traffic surveillance and marine pollution. This NATO operation is currently commanded at sea by Captain Neves Rodrigues, of the Portuguese Navy, and its flagship is the NRP Viana do Castelo.

The Portuguese submarine will also participate in Operation IRINI, within the scope of the European Union (EU), which aims to apply the arms embargo imposed by the UN, in specific areas of the North coast of Central Africa. The embargo is carried out using satellite technology, air and naval means and by inspecting ships on the high seas, when there is a suspicion that they are carrying prohibited weapons or materials. The two missions are developed in the Mediterranean Sea.

The operational characteristics of the submarine, both in terms of deterrence and information gathering, make the submarine a very relevant means in fulfilling the objectives of the missions it will integrate, contributing to establish and improve the maritime situational knowledge of the Mediterranean Sea, in the commands of the Alliance and Union.

The submarine Arpão, commanded by Lieutenant-Captain Taveira Pinto, will be engaged for approximately two months and has a garrison made up of 33 soldiers.

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