The lead ship of the Portuguese Navy Viana do Castelo-class offshore patrol vessels joined the European frontier and coast guard agency Frontex arriving at the Italian port of Catania on Monday.
NRP Viana do Castelo will be contributing to the control and surveillance of maritime borders in addition to standing ready for the rescue of migrants at sea.
The mission will be coordinated by Italian authorities but will involve a number of naval and air assets from various EU member states. The patrol vessel has embarked Portuguese Imigration and Borders Service officials and
This mission, which is part of the European effort to control external maritime borders, will be coordinated by the Italian authorities and will involve various maritime, naval and air assets from various European Union organizations and countries.
The ship embarks two representatives of the Aliens and Borders Service (SEF) and Italian Coast Guard and Guarda Finanzia, a militarized police force dealing with financial crime and smuggling.
NRP Viana do Castelo has a complement of 53, including a marine detachment and diver and medical personnel teams.
The vessel will spend more than half a thousand hours on patrol in the central Mediterranean before returning home on November 9.