NATO’s Sea Guardian operation underway in Western Mediterranean

Two frigates and a patrol vessel are conducting a maritime security operation in the Western Mediterranean as part of NATO’s operation Sea Guardian.

Led by a French Navy Captain onboard French frigate FS Guepratte, along with Italian frigate Scirocco and Spanish Offshore Patrol Vessel ESPS Serviola are working to outline the patterns-of-life over a strategic 600 square kilometer area of the Western Mediterranean.

The ships are challenging all vessels transiting the area while broadcasting information about the operation to reassure the maritime community. With advanced optic systems and efficient radars, the ships and their crews are able to monitor the pattern-of-life and detect suspicious behavior across the area of interest.

NATO’s operation Sea Guardian is an operation designed to conduct a variety of maritime security tasks in response to the challenges of ensuring the sea-lanes are safe and secure for mariners of all nations. The operation focuses on three core missions: maritime situational awareness, counter-terrorism and regional capacity building.

It is aimed at detecting and deterring non-state actors who threaten security at sea in the Mediterranean Sea and the sea lines of communication which lead to the Mediterranean. This includes terrorists and their organizations and individuals engaged in criminal illegal activities that threaten security. Forces assigned to focused security patrols like this one support the maritime situational awareness picture maintained at NATO Allied Maritime Command and provide information to contribute to that picture. Forces actively supporting operation Sea Guardian provide greater detail to the overall understanding of what are normal patterns of behavior and what are suspicious behaviors that may have security implications.

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