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A Multipurpose Maritime Operation in the Adriatic Sea led by EFCA kicks off

The Multipurpose Maritime Operation (MMO) taking place in the Adriatic Sea has kicked off and will run until the 9 October 2023. It will be led by EFCA and has been agreed between EFCA, EMSA and FRONTEX in cooperation with the authorities of Italy, Croatia and Slovenia.

The overall aim of the MMO is to enhance European cooperation on coast guard functions by providing increased technical and operational assistance to the host Member States by coordinating operational activities. The operational activities are conducted in an operational area, that include Italian, Slovenia and Croatian sovereignty waters, contiguous zones, Exclusive Economic Zones and international waters of Adriatic Sea. 

The participating Member States are Croatia, Italy and Slovenia. EFCA as leading agency contributes with one offshore patrol vessel, the Ocean Sentinel, one fixed wing aircraft, and different systems supporting the operation.  EMSA is providing RPAS on board of the patrol vessel and the maritime picture via the Agency’s Integrated Maritime Services (IMS).  FRONTEX is supporting Croatia to provide 6 coastal patrol boats.

The European Coordination Centre (ECC) is established within the Coordination Centre located in EFCA headquarters, in Vigo (Spain), with the virtual participation of those participants attending remotely. The European Coordination Centre is hosting daily coordination meetings.

Moreover, as part of EMSA’s and EFCA’s Service Level Agreement, both Agencies have completed the successful installation of a ro-trawl net system and five tonnes of dispersants onboard EFCA’s chartered vessel, the Ocean Sentinel in Ravenna. This comes in addition to comprehensive crew training in the deployment of this oil pollution response equipment. The Ocean Sentinel marks the first of three currently EFCA chartered vessels in this effort. EFCA multirole offshore fisheries patrol vessels have gained additional valuable capacity through this collaboration, hence it also strengthens cooperation in coast guard functions between the agencies in support of MS authorities. EFCA vessels will join EMSA’s oil pollution fleet and will be ready to be activated on MS request in case support would be needed in the event of oil pollution incidents in EU waters. 

A small-scale SAR exercise led by EMSA (SARex 2023) will take place on 26 September in the North Adriatic Sea area within the framework of the MMO Adria 2023. The objective of the SARex 2023 is to enhance cooperation and coordination between the involved SAR authorities of Italy, Slovenia and Croatia as well as to gain heightened situational awareness and experience in the use of communication systems/channels.