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Naval Cooperation and Guidance for Shipping

Maritime trade is of fundamental strategic interest to nations and their economic well-being depends on freedom of movement on the seas. Military operations at sea will frequently involve, or have some impact, on merchant shipping and likewise merchant shipping may affect military operations.

In order to both reduce conflict of interest between military and merchant shipping, and to enhance safety and security on sea, NATO developed and implemented the Naval Cooperation and Guidance for Shipping (NCAGS) concept.

NCAGS provides the interface between military operations and merchant shipping. This interface involves the provision of military cooperation, guidance, advice, and assistance to merchant shipping. NCAGS is employed to enhance the safety of participating merchant ships in the operations area while supporting military objectives.

The purpose of the NCAGS organization is to provide Ship Owners, Operators, Masters and Officers with information regarding the interaction between naval forces and merchant shipping. Support takes place in peacetime, tension, crisis and conflict.

Benefits for civilian shipping

•Enhanced safety and security
•Reduced delays when transiting through military areas of operation
•Improved threat response
•Enhanced understanding of military activity
•Potential for reduced insurance premiums in risk area

NATO has released a non-classified publication which covers the relationship with civilian shipping. This publication can be downloaded from below link.

Allied Worldwide Navigational Information System

AWNIS collates, coordinates and communicates navigational safety and security information to merchant shipping and military authorities within an operational area. As this information relates to the general maritime community,  it works almost exclusively through the existing Worldwide Navigational Warning Service (WWNWS) architecture. Responsible for both classified and unclassified information,  AWNIS delivers assurance to military commanders and merchant mariners against the additional risks to safety and security of Navigation that are associated with maritime operations. 

System (not technical) for communicating Safety and Security of Navigation (SASON) information to mariners, both military and civilian, utilising WWNWS.

Benefits to Civilian Mariner:

•Enhances safety and freedom of navigation in a NATO Operational Area
•Fulfills military legal obligations regarding safety observations and impacts of operations
•Foster civilian confidence in military ops
•Assists in post-conflict stabilisation
•Chart corrections, former mined areas

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

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