NATO task group led by Commander Juan Jose Izquierdo (ESP N) on board flagship frigate ESPS Reina Sofia departed from Rota Naval Base to patrol the Western Mediterranean Sea as part of NATO’s Operation Sea Guardian (OSG).
A submarine from Italy, air units from Canada, Portugal, Spain and other NATO naval units while transiting in the region will support the OSG Flagship ESPS Reina Sofia.
The OSG task unit is under the operational command of NATO Allied Maritime Command (MARCOM) in Northwood. Prior to departing of the task group from Rota, a delegation of MARCOM subject matter experts met the commander task group and his staff to better prepare for their activities in the Western Mediterranean Sea. The MARCOM team had the opportunity to discuss the operation specifics including maritime air operations, submarine operations, intelligence, communication support, rules of engagement among others.
In addition to the daily Maritime Situational Awareness (MSA) activities, these patrols have a special focus on monitoring sea lines of communication (SLOCs), localized traffic patterns in international waters in coordination with national navies, deterring terrorism and mitigating the risk of threats to security in the Mediterranean Sea.
OSG is a non-Article 5 maritime security and an important key enabler for NATO to increase its cooperation and interoperability with Allies and Partner nations in the Mediterranean Sea.