NATO’s Operation Sea Guardian (OSG) Task Group has completed its third focused maritime patrols of the year in the Central Mediterranean Sea.

These patrols are vital to maintaining maritime situational awareness (MSA). Italian frigate and flagship ITS Carabinieri, along with Croatian missile patrol boat HRVS Dubrovnik, collected data on patterns-of-life, while also monitoring traffic on major sea lines of communication. During the three weeks of patrolling, the task group processed information related to more than 1200 boats and ships. Collaboration and coordination with Allied navies strengthened maritime security in the Mediterranean.

Support from above, the “eyes in the skies”, came from Maritime Patrol Aircraft and Airborne Early Warning Aircraft from Greece, Italy, Portugal and Türkiye. NATO Alliance Ground Surveillance (NAGS) and a Greek UAV also supported the patrols. All these units have proved excellent surface-air integration.

Sea Guardian aims to build on cooperation and partnerships with both Allies and Partners, so ahead of their patrols, the Task Group conducted a passing exercise with the Maltese Armed Forces. The ships also made a port call to the capital of Malta, Valletta.

On completion of these focused patrols, ITS Carabinieri joined Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 (SNMG2), while HRVS Dubrovnik returned to her home port in Croatia.

OSG is a collaborative, year-round maritime security operation designed to maintain MSA, deter and counter-terrorism activity, and build capacity and interoperability among NATO Allies and partners. In addition to the daily MSA activities, OSG has been conducting focused patrols in specific areas of interest in the Mediterranean Sea.