French Navy Frigate Courbet Leaves Toulon as Flagship of NATO’s Operation Sea Guardian Focused Patrol

The French Navy La Fayette-class multi-mission stealth frigate FS Courbet (F712) left the port of Toulon in France as flagship to NATO’s Operation Sea Guardian (OSG) Focused Patrol on May 28.

The Task Group is composed of FS Courbet and the Italian Navy FREMM multipurpose frigate ITS Carabiniere (F 581), who participate in this OSG Focused Patrol as part of the multinational force EUROMARFOR.

The European Maritime Force (EUROMARFOR) is a non-standing, multinational military force created by France, Italy, Spain and Portugal and can be employed within the framework of other international organizations such as the United Nations (UN), NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization), Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) or other multinational coalitions as long as the four partner nations agree.

FS Courbet (F712)
French Navy La Fayette-class multi-mission stealth frigate FS Courbet (F712) leaving Toulon home port in France for NATO’s Operation Sea Guardian (OSG) Focused Patrol deployment, on 28 May 2020. NATO Photo.

This is the second time, after the participation in Op Active Endeavour in 2002, that EUROMARFOR has contributed its assets to a NATO Operation. And, it is the 1st time EUROMARFOR is committed directly under NATO command. This is one example of building greater synergies between NATO and other international organizations, in order to reinforce maritime security, especially in the Mediterranean.

These units are directly supported by an Italian submarine under NATO command. Additionally, the Standing NATO Maritime Group Two (SNMG2) and surface units from France and Turkey, are supporting to this Focused Patrol. Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA) and Airborne Early Warning units from several NATO countries including Denmark, France, Greece, Italy, Turkey and the United Kingdom contribute with specific air support.

OSG Focused Patrol 20-3 runs May 27 to Jun 16, 2020, in the Central and Eastern Mediterranean.

Operation Sea Guardian is a non-Article 5 Maritime Security Operation, working with Mediterranean stakeholders to deter and counter-terrorism, project stability and mitigate the risk of other threats to security for NATO Allies and partners in the Mediterranean Sea and its surrounding area. OSG has three core missions: maritime situational awareness, counter-terrorism and capacity building.

To ensure the safety of the staff and crews, and following NATO’s preventive measures for minimizing COVID-19 risk, Task Group representatives were briefed via teleconferencing while still at their home ports. They received briefings on the mission specifics, including maritime security operations, command and control as well as intelligence gathering, logistics, legal, strategic communications and several others.

NATO Allied Maritime Command

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