NATO Operation Sea Guardian Focused Patrols Sail The Eastern Mediterranean

SOUDA BAY, Greece – The sixth focused patrol of NATO’s Operation Sea Guardian (OSG) in 2020 has commenced, with Hellenic Navy vessel Spetsai as its flagship.

Operation Sea Guardian (OSG) is a year-round, proactive and forward-looking 360 commitment: by up-keeping deterrence on terrorism and transnational illegal activities.

This is the final for 2020 OSG Focused Operation, running from November 24 to December 9, in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea.

Appropriate COVID-19 measures were taken while preparing for the mission. Like previous patrols this year, Hellenic Navy crew was briefed via teleconference by NATO Maritime Command. Several other measures were implemented to ensure crew is able to operate safely carrying out NATO mission.

The Focused Operation is led by Captain Stefanos Sarris of the Hellenic Navy. The task group consists of the Hellenic ship Spetsai, Bulgarian ship Smeli and the British Royal Navy offshore patrol vessel Trent, supported by submarines Greece and Turkey. Maritime Patrol Aircrafts (MPA) and Airborne Early Warning units from Greece, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Turkey and the US are also contributing to the focused patrol with associated air support.

This Focused Operation will also feature exercises with the Israel Navy and a port visit to Haifa later in December.

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

This Operation remains one of the most important tools for NATO projecting stability throughout the Mediterranean Sea and sustaining maritime situational awareness. Focused patrols of NATO’s Operation Sea Guardian help NATO maintain an accurate maritime picture of daily activity in the focused areas of the Mediterranean Sea and is a great opportunity to increase cooperation and interoperability.