Italian frigate Margottini, flagship of the third focused patrol for 2021 for NATO Operation Sea Guardian (OSG), visited Egypt for a logistical stop and training at sea, 16-17 May 2021.
According to a press release issued by NATO Maritime Command on 24 May, during a brief stop in Alexandria port, the flagship carried out remote key leader engagements to brief the Egyptian Navy on OSG. The following day ITS Margottini conducted a training sequence with the Egyptian Navy frigate Al Galala, within the framework of NATO regional maritime security capacity-building efforts. This interaction concluded the focused patrol, which had commenced on 21 April.
The patrol took place in the Eastern Mediterranean and focused mainly on gathering information about maritime activities in the international waters encompassing a wide range of threats as well as shipping pattern-of-life, alongside enhancing partnerships in the area and assuring readiness to counter terrorism threats at sea. Two friendly maritime situational awareness approaches were conducted with local fishing vessels, increasing the awareness of OSG in this important area of the Mediterranean.
Appropriate COVID-19 measures were taken while preparing and conducting the operation, similarly to previous patrols over the last year, to ensure crews are able to operate safely carrying out NATO mission.
OSG was launched in 2016 as 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.
This OSG focused patrol had two commands at sea for the very first time since the operation has begun, increasing complexity but also showing flexibility in the planning and execution. Thus, it was led sequentially, first by the Turkish frigate Orucreis, followed by the Italian frigate Margottini during the second command period. HMS Trent also supported the patrol, enhancing maritime situational awareness in the area.
Submarines and aircraft from Greece, Italy, Turkey and the US supported these surface ships.
With each OSG focused engagement, NATO seeks to further develop our partnerships so that they continue to meet the interests of both Allies and partners. Over the last few years, the number of partner units certified and evaluated to NATO standards has increased, new partners have joined interoperability programmes, and opportunities for partner participation in NATO exercises have been widened. These relationships offer valuable opportunities to prevent conflicts and develop regional security and stability through dialogue, confidence-building, and increased transparency.
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