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NATO'S Operation Sea Guardian returns to Western Mediterranean

14 March 2022

From NATO Allied Maritime Command Public Affairs

CARTAGENA, Spain - For the first time this year NATO's Operation Sea Guardian Task Group (OSGTG) set sail to patrol the waters of the western Mediterranean Sea on March 9.

Portuguese offshore patrol vessel NRP Viana do Castelo (P360) is leading the NATO Task Group, joined by offshore patrol vessels Spanish ESPS Audaz (P45) and Royal Navy HMS Trent (P224). Maritime patrol aircraft and airborne early warning aircraft from Spain, Italy and Portugal will provide air support.

For the first time, Portugal leads the NATO's OSGTG since OSG's first patrol in November 2016. This focused patrol will include a port visit to Tangiers, Morocco, and execute a passing exercise with the Moroccan Navy.

"These focused patrols are key enablers to further enhance information exchange, contributing to develop Maritime Situational Awareness", Commander, OSGTG Portuguese Navy Captain Neves Rodrigues said. "NATO stays committed to work with Partner nations and other stakeholders to maintain maritime security in the Mediterranean Sea".

In addition to the daily Maritime Situational Awareness (MSA) activities, NATO's OSG conducts focused MSA patrols, at specific areas of interest in the Mediterranean Sea. This includes monitoring sea lines of communication (SLOCs), localized traffic patterns in international waters outside ports of interest, and coordination with national navies.

OSG 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.


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