10 May 2018

Operation SOPHIA: training activity in progress

A Training Package 2 module for Libyan Coastguard and Navy ended in Crete (Greece)

Yesterday, 9th of May, in the NATO Maritime Interdiction Operational Training Centre (NMIOTC) of Crete, in Souda-Bay, at the presence of EUNAVFOR Med Deputy Commander, Rear Admiral Gilles Boidevezi, ended the second Greek module of Training Package 2.

The 22 selected trainees, who had undergone the vetting process, started concretely the teaching program on 26th of March. After a general introduction of the course and its objectives, they attended first lesson focused on the origin and development of the communication on maritime and naval environment.

The course, hosted by Greek Navy, lasted 7 weeks and included also lectures on International Human Rights held by members of European Asylum Support Office (EASO), First AID held by members of the Maltese International Order of Malta – Italian Corp (CISOM), Gender Policy and technical English Language lessons provided by qualified teachers and specialists coming from EUNAVFOR Med Operational Headquarters in Rome.

In the wide framework of Training Package 2, it is important to mention also the second Italian Service-oriented infrastructure for MARitime Traffic tracking (SMART) course organized by Operation Sophia, which completed last April, with the contribution of Italian Navy trainers provided by the Italian Navy Fleet Command (CINCNAV).

The SMART is an unclassified high-technology system aimed to enhance and increase the Situational Awareness (SA) in the maritime environment.

The course was arranged in favour of 3 Libyan trainees and it was tailored to enhance the understanding on the system by Libyan officers that are already assigned and/or are planned to be involved in the Libyan Coastguard or Navy Operational Rooms.

With the positive conclusion of these two courses, the threshold of 213 Libyan Coastguard and Navy personnel trained by EUNAVFOR Med has been reached.

Other training modules ashore are planned in Italy, Spain and other EU member states in favour of a huge number of trainees.

From October 2016, SOPHIA is fully involved in the training of the Libyan Navy and Libyan Coastguard; the aim of the training is to improve security of the Libyan territorial waters and the Libyan Coastguard and Navy ability to perform the duties in their territorial waters, including search and rescue activities to save lives at sea.