NATO’s Operation Sea Guardian (OSG) Task Group has taken part in exercises with the Egyptian Navy in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea. It marks the conclusion of the OSG Task Group’s sixth focused maritime security patrol in the region. Such patrols play a vital role in a better understanding of the maritime environment, by improving NATO’s collaboration on maritime situational awareness. This ultimately leads to better maritime security in the Mediterranean Sea. The sixth focused patrol included ships, submarines, maritime patrol aircraft, and airborne early warning units from Germany, Greece, Portugal, Türkiye, and the United Kingdom.
“Supporting maritime situational awareness and upholding freedom of navigation, delivered excellent training opportunities for both NATO Task Group and the crew of HS Salamis. Furthermore, our collaboration with other non-NATO navies lead to the establishment of a robust, international cluster of different entities, ready to cooperate in order to ensure the maritime security in the Eastern Mediterranean,” said Captain Ioannis Sarakis, Task group Commander.
The OSG Task Group flagship, HS Salamis (Hellenic Navy), exercised at sea with ENS Bernees, a European multi-purpose frigate (FREMM) commissioned into the Egyptian navy in 2021. The exercise increased the cooperation and levels of interoperability between nations. The ships’ crews practised a medical evacuation drill, a boarding exercise and a passing exercise.
Prior to the exercise, the NATO staff, led by Captain Ioannis Sarakis (HN), made a port visit to the Egyptian city of Alexandria. On arrival, Captain Sarakis and his staff made a courtesy call to the local naval authorities, and received the Chief of Northern Fleet, Rear Admiral Yasser El Sherif, on board HS Salamis. Such interactions are a valuable contribution to mutual understanding and deepen NATO partnerships. Operation Sea Guardian is a 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