Turkish corvette Buyukada left the port of Aksaz as flagship to NATO’s ‘Operation Sea Guardian’ focused patrols on the 21st of March.
According to NATO, Under the command of Captain Gokhan Temizoz, the NATO unit is supported by submarines from Italy, Greece and Turkey and several Maritime Patrol Aircraft during their deployment to the Eastern Mediterranean Sea.
Prior to their departure from Aksaz, the staff of the Task Group and the ship crew were subject to precautionary measures dictated by the current threat posed by Covid-19.
“Working at sea or ashore, health and safety of NATO personnel is the priority. In face of this pandemic, NATO and Allied navies follow established medical protocols and the World Health Organization’s recommendations.”
“Maritime security is a critical factor considering the world commerce uses sea routes including the Mediterranean. Thus, Operation Sea Guardian is as important tool NATO countries and partners have at their disposal. Our presence is a sign of our determination to support the fight against illegal activities which can harm maritime security in this region,” said Captain Richard Platel, Branch Head for Current Operations at NATO Maritime Command.
NATO say that security patrols assist monitoring suspected activities at sea to enable the operators to better understand the environment and to establish daily patterns of life near shipping routes.