European Maritime Force shapes up for Portuguese drill Swordfish 2018

Photo: EUROMARFOR via Italian MoD

Warships from Italy, France, Portugal, Spain and Great Britain gathered in the Portuguese port of Lisbon on June 18 for the activation of the European Maritime Force (EUROMARFOR).

The non-standing force was activated after a meeting of the political-military working group of EUROMARFOR concluded in Paris on June 21.

As an outcome of the meeting, the international collaboration between Italy, France, Portugal and Spain has been renewed.

The activated group consists of Italian frigate ITS Scirocco, Portuguese frigate NRP Corte-Real, Spanish frigate ESPS Canarias, French replenishment ship FS Somme and Royal Navy destroyer HMS Duncan.

These ships will be working together until June 28, taking part in the Portuguese defense forces-hosted naval and air exercise Swordfish 2018. A total of 2,300 military personnel will carry out naval and air maneuvers and hone interoperability.

The NRP Corte-Real will be part of the EUROMARFOR during the exercise but the Portuguese Navy will be represented by another nine ships. Portugal has been in charge of the EUROMARFOR since September 2017, after taking over from Italy.

EUROMARFOR was formed in 1995 to fulfill missions defined in the Petersberg Declaration, such as sea control, humanitarian missions, peacekeeping operations, crisis response operations, and peace enforcement.

The force can be deployed either in a NATO environment, acting as part of the European branch of NATO, or acting upon the mandate of other international organizations, such as United Nations, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, or any other multinational coalition. The task group can be activated within 5 days once an activation order is received.

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