NATO Begins Focused Patrols in Eastern Mediterranean

Turkish Navy Ada-class ASW corvette TCG Büyükada (F-512) left the port of Aksaz as flagship to NATO’s Operation Sea Guardian focused patrols on March 21.

Under the command of Captain Gokhan Temizoz, NATO unit is supported by submarines from Italy, Greece and Turkey and several Maritime Patrol Aircraft during their deployment to the Eastern Mediterranean Sea.

Prior to their departure from Aksaz, the staff of the Task Group and the ship crew were subject to precautionary measures dictated by the current threat posed by Covid-19. Working at sea or ashore, health and safety of NATO personnel is the priority. In face of this pandemic, NATO and Allied navies follow established medical protocols and the World Health Organization’s recommendations.

“Maritime security is a critical factor considering the world commerce uses sea routes including the Mediterranean. Thus, Operation Sea Guardian is as important tool NATO countries and partners have at their disposal. Our presence is a sign of our determination to support the fight against illegal activities which can harm maritime security in this region,” said Captain Richard Platel, Branch Head for Current Operations at NATO Maritime Command.

March 22, 2020, Mediterranean Sea - Operation Sea Guardian Focused Ops 20-2 Flagship TCG Buyukada Boarding team exercising upon their departure from Aksaz, Turkey. Photo Credit: Turkish Navy.
March 22, 2020, Mediterranean Sea – Operation Sea Guardian Focused Ops 20-2 Flagship TCG Buyukada Boarding team exercising upon their departure from Aksaz, Turkey. Photo Credit: Turkish Navy.

Security patrols assist monitoring suspected activities at sea to enable the operators to better understand the environment and to establish daily patterns of life near shipping routes. Support and cooperation provided by the submarines and maritime patrol aircraft are key enablers to efficiently maintain a multi-domain view of the current maritime activities in these patrolled areas.

“Focused operations of NATO’s Operation Sea Guardian also help NATO maintain an accurate maritime picture of daily activity in the Mediterranean Sea and is a great opportunity to increase cooperation and interoperability between Allied Navies under the umbrella of NATO’s Allied Maritime Command. Turkish Navy is proud to be one of the main contributors of this NATO operation providing support with its assets’’ said Captain Gökhan Temizöz, Task Group Commander of NATO’s Operation Sea Guardian Focused Operation 20/2.

Focused operations of NATO’s Operation Sea Guardian also help NATO maintain an accurate maritime picture of daily activity in the Mediterranean Sea and is a great opportunity to increase cooperation and interoperability between Allied Navies under the umbrella of NATO’s Allied Maritime Command. Turkish Navy is proud to be one of the main contributors of this NATO operation providing support with its assets

Operation Sea Guardian is NATO’s non-Article 5 maritime security operation aimed at working with Mediterranean stakeholders to maintain maritime situational awareness, deter and counter-terrorism and enhance capacity building.




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