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Operation Sea Guardian

Operation Sea Guardian is a non-Article 5 maritime security operation conducted by NATO in the Mediterranean Sea and Strait of Gibraltar and approaches (outside the territorial waters of regional nations). An evolution of the counter-terrorism-focused Operation Active Endeavour, Operation Sea Guardian seeks to build maritime situational awareness, support regional maritime capacity building and counter terrorism and is ready to respond to a broad spectrum of maritime security threats.

Operation Sea Guardian supports a safe and secure environment for civilian vessels operating in the Mediterranean Sea and thus facilitates regional economic activities. NATO is interested in vessels feeling confident in transiting through the region and in providing them information on any possible threats to their operations.

In support of this aim, NATO units may hail transiting merchant vessels on VHF regarding their identification and activity and may request on-board visits to support mutual maritime situational awareness or to search the cargo of suspicious vessels.

Merchant vessels can support efforts to improve maritime security in the Mediterranean Sea by reporting any suspicious activity they observe to the NATO Shipping Centre (NSC) at or +44 192 395 6574 or by submitting a web-based incident report. NSC is reachable by phone or email 24/7. Additionally, vessels can support NATO boarding training efforts by contacting NSC and volunteering to serve as boarding platforms.

To receive direct updates on relevant threats, merchant vessels and their parent organisations can inform the NATO Shipping Centre of their voyages in the Mediterranean Sea through NSC's Voluntary Reporting Scheme by sending a Format Alfa report by web or email. Please view NSC's Merchant Shipping Reporting page for the format and procedures for doing so.



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NATO Shipping Centre
Northwood HQ, Atlantic Building
Sandy Lane, Northwood HA6 3HP
United Kingdom

NSC Contact

​Telephone ​+44 (0) 1923-956574
​Fax ​+44 (0) 1923-956575