Spanish offshore patrol vessel Meteoro, supported by maritime patrol aircraft from Portugal and Spain, has deployed to the Western Mediterranean as part of NATO’s maritime security operation, Operation Sea Guardian.

NATO Operation Sea Guardian is a year-round tasking aimed at stopping illegal activities at sea.

This operation is also a fusion of information to create a comprehensive picture of daily activities in the Mediterranean, and NATO Maritime Command serves as the hub of maritime security information sharing for the Alliance.

“The first OSG Focused Operation for 2021 focuses on the Alboran Sea, with a planned port visit to Tangiers, Morocco. Turkish and Spanish special operations forces support in stand-by under the OSG Special Operations Command and Control Element (SOCCE). Due to COVID measures, all in-person interactions have been scaled down to protect the crew and the mission.

Operation Sea Guardian is a non-Article 5 maritime security operation of NATO aimed at working with Mediterranean stakeholders and partners to maintain maritime situational awareness, deter and counter terrorism and enhance capacity building. 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.”

NATO add that this operation remains one of the most important tools for NATO projecting stability throughout the Mediterranean Sea and sustaining maritime situational awareness.

“Focused patrols of NATO’s Operation Sea Guardian help NATO maintain an accurate maritime picture of daily activity in the focused areas of the Mediterranean Sea and is an opportunity to increase cooperation and interoperability.”

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4th watch

‘Aimed at stopping illegal activity at sea’. The Turks and Spanish certainly know a thing or two about illegal activity at sea; so by the look of it the excercise is in ‘safe hands’ and off to a cracking start.


The Alboran is effectively the coastal waters of Gibraltar and south-eastern Spain. So why not a visit to the Rock?……..oh, I know why not……


How about NATO stopping European NGOs from conducting people trafficking in the Med? Is that beyond it’s perview? It’s certainly illegal.