February 24th, 2006 11:33 EST
NATO and Russia tackle terror
On February 17th, NATO and Russia completed the first part of training aimed at preparing the Russian Navy to participate in NATO’s naval counter-terrorist operation in the Mediterranean, Active Endeavour.
The training included many ‘firsts’, including the first use of secure communications between NATO and Russian warships.
It was also the first time that a team of NATO trainers was deployed aboard a Russian warship.
Paving the way
The training took place on board the Russian cruiser, the Moskva, and included selected personnel from the Pytliviy and Smetliviy, which have been earmarked to join NATO ships in Operation Active Endeavour.
In addition to classroom training, the Moskva and two NATO ships from Operation Active Endeavour – the SPS Navarra and the HMS Nottingham - conducted joint manoeuvres at sea.
This included practicing the boarding and inspecting of a suspect vessel and transferring its cargo.
The Commander of the Training Team, Captain Sjoerd Both, NLN, praised the training as very successful, saying that it demonstrated that Russian participation in Active Endeavour by late summer or early autumn was a realistic aim.
Further training will take place in the coming months.
Operation Active Endeavour has evolved out of NATO’s response to the terrorist attacks against the United States of 11 of September 2001. It aims to detect, deter and protect against terrorist activity in the Mediterranean.