Patrolling the Mediterranean: NATO Operation Sea Guardian


Regional instability in North Africa
and the Middle East has left the Mediterranean vulnerable
to weapons and drugs smugglers, terrorism and people traffickers posing a threat to
the security of NATO countries. These Special Forces
from the Dutch Marine Corps are approaching a fishing vessel
in the Mediterranean to talk with the sailors
and learn about the area. They form part of a NATO maritime
security operation called Sea Guardian. Sea Guardian is a NATO operation aimed at
countering terrorism, guaranteeing maritime situational awareness for the Alliance and
improving capacity-building with some countries in the Mediterranean basin. Falling under NATO’s maritime command, Operation
Sea Guardian’s aim is to keep an eye out for illegal activity, monitor maritime traffic
and provide a safe and secure environment for ships in the Mediterranean. It is continuously monitoring the Mediterranean
Sea, and to date 12 nations have also sent assets such as ships, aircraft and submarines
for focused operations. This is the first time for the Croatian Navy
to participate in a NATO operation. Before embarking on the operation, participating
nations need to practise working together. Here a British ship poses as a suspect vessel,
while a combined team of Croatian and Italian forces plan and execute a boarding exercise. We conduct several exercises, force protection
exercise, manoeuvring exercise and boarding team exercise. Ensuring maritime security in the Mediterranean
is a NATO-wide effort and all NATO units operating throughout the Mediterranean, including Standing
NATO Maritime Group Two and Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group Two, with their
five minehunters, also contribute to that aim. All the time we’re at sea, we’re taking
notice of patterns of life around us, and obviously any anomalies, any ships that have
dropped off the plot for a few days and miraculously come back, then they would come to our attention
and we’ll put special measures in place to make sure we understand where they’ve
been and where they’re going. Providing a full and detailed maritime picture
also requires collaboration between NATO and other international partners such as the European
Union, whose Operation Sophia runs in tandem with Sea Guardian. We are exchanging information on our daily
activity with naval, air and submarine assets and make best use of the assets at sea. Operation Sea Guardian is a demonstration
of NATO’s commitment to protecting trade routes, countering crime and terrorism and
helping monitor maritime traffic. It also forms part of a wider effort to protect
the region, which in turn leads to a more secure Europe.

6 thoughts on “Patrolling the Mediterranean: NATO Operation Sea Guardian

  1. WTG Guys… I did the Med Guardian for 4 years on a US Carrier… made 2 1/2 Med Cruises and loved it… never should've gotten out, if your in STAY IN !!!

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