NATO SNMG2 Maritime Group Supports Operation Sea Guardian in Mediterranean

The Standing NATO Maritime Group Two (SNMG2) is currently deployed in support of Operation Sea Guardian (OSG) in the Mediterranean.

So far, over 130 merchant vessels have been hailed, verifying AIS data, challenging incorrect or incoherent information and integrating the overall Maritime Situational Awareness, to enhance and maintain security of the whole Mediterranean Sea.

“Our support to Operation Sea Guardian is now in full swing, with SNMG2 vessels deployed in the Central Mediterranean Sea. We are collecting and sharing information within the Alliance, ensuring our presence around the crossroads of maritime traffic, while maintaining our readiness as part of NATO Response Force maritime component”, stated Rear Admiral Paolo Fantoni, Commander of SNMG2.

ITS Fasan during NATO Operation Sea Guardian
Speedboat returns to the Italian Navy FREMM frigate ITS Virginio Fasan (F 594) after a ship inspection during NATO Operation Sea Guardian in the Mediterranean Sea, on 29 May 2020. Photo: Italian Navy.

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.

The Group has been performing various activities to contribute to OSG’s core objectives, such as monitoring merchant traffic, analysing automatic identification system (AIS) data and hailing vessels, and then consolidating the acquired data to build a comprehensive picture of the maritime environment in the region. Since the beginning of SNMG2’s support to the Operation Sea Guardian, the Group has conducted its activities in the Eastern Mediterranean, patrolling in front of the Suez Channel, before entering the Central Mediterranean and the Aegean Sea, monitoring merchant traffic to and from the Eastern Mediterranean.

SNMG2, led since December 2019 by Rear Admiral Paolo Fantoni of the Italian Navy, has been deployed in the Central and Eastern Mediterranean, as well as the Black Sea. It is currently comprised of two vessels, the Italian FREMM-class frigate Virginio Fasan and the Turkish Barbaros-class frigate Salihreis.


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