The Italian Navy hosted its Algerian counterpart in the Italian port of Augusta for the bilateral exercise Medex-17.
Medex consisted of a harbor and an at sea phase, taking place between June 12 and 16.
Now in its ninth edition, the exercise is part of the 5 + 5 defense initiative aimed at enhancing security in the Western Mediterranean.
Italy took part in the exercise with patrol vessel Comandante Foscari (P 493), coastal patrol boat Staffetta, and boarding and diving teams.
The Algerian Navy sent its amphibious landing ship Kalaat Beni Rached along with diving and boarding teams.
The focus of the exercise were counter-trafficking activities with the aim of improving interoperability of the two navies in migrant crisis situations.
The 5+5 Dialogue is a French initiative launched in 1983, but taking shape in July 1990. The aim was to promote cooperation between the countries bordering the western Mediterranean, including France, Italy, Portugal and Spain, later joined by Malta (the North bank) and Algeria, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia (the South bank). In order to stimulate the 5+5 Dialogue, which was blocked since 1991 due to deep divisions between some participants, and to extend it to the Security and Defence dimension, in 2004 France decided to launch a restricted cooperation Initiate on a 4+3 format (Portugal, Spain, France and Italy, plus Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia).