Allied Maritime Command in Northwood, NATO’s single maritime HQ, has taken over command of NATO’s defence against terrorism mission Operation Active Endeavour (OAE).
Along with Operation Ocean Shield, NATOs’ counter piracy mission, this now brings together both of NATO’s current maritime operations under one command.
OAE is part of NATO’s multi-faceted response to the terrorist threat. Its mission is to conduct maritime operations in the assigned area of operations to demonstrate NATO’s resolve to help deter, defend, disrupt and protect against terrorism. Until today it has been commanded from the Maritime Command in Naples, Italy; however, with the closure of the Naples HQ, the responsibility now transfers to Northwood.
Operation Active Endeavour started operations soon after the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Centre. Its mission was to conduct naval operations in the eastern Mediterranean and to actively demonstrate NATO’s resolve and solidarity. During the past 12 years, the mission has expanded to include the whole of the Mediterranean and to include boarding operations. The surveillance part of the operation uses ship, aircraft and submarine assets as well as an information sharing network that also involves a number of non-NATO nations, to build a picture of maritime activity in the Area of Operations.