The Open Sea 2019 began yesterday, the most significant aeronaval exercise conducted by the Navy from the edge of the aircraft carrier Giuseppe Garibaldi in the central and southern Mediterranean waters.
For twelve days the activity will be focused on training the skills of the commanders and staff on board the naval team in conducting operations in possible areas of international crisis.
Through the creation of a scenario exercised or characterized by a multidimensional threat and increasing difficulty, ships and crews will practice in the main forms of struggle on the sea and the sea, such as anti-aircraft, anti-submarine and anti-ship, mine countermeasures, to combat illegal trafficking on the sea, to the management of crisis situations in environments with the presence of conventional and asymmetrical threats, in addition to the management of on-board emergencies and the projection of an amphibious force from the sea on land in a cyber environment.
This year the exercise involves the crews boarded from over 40 ships, 5 submersibles, plus 30-embarked aircraft, including naval aviation aircraft of the Navy and naval units provided by Canada, France, England, Holland, Portugal, Spain and the United States. The aerial component of the exercise, as well as from US Navy boarded aircraft, is also strengthened by the participation of numerous assets of the Air Force: in particular, Eurofighter, AMX and Tornado fighters as part of reconnaissance, escort and defense suppression missions enemy areas, a CAEW (Conformal Airborne Early Warning) aircraft with aerial surveillance, command and control and communications functions, and a KC-767 for in-flight support and refueling.
On board the Italian naval units, there are also observers from the 10 marinas partner countries. The Open Sea 2019 also has an amphibious connotation, with the presence of a landing force composed of 400 Marine Fusiliers of the San Marco marine brigade, a military rate of the Lagoon Regiment of the Italian Army and 180 naval riflemen of the Tercio de Armada Spanish.
On board the logistic support ship Etna, a Role 2 doctor with surgical skills, who employs a team composed of 19 between doctors, nurses and laboratory technicians and is supported by a representative of the Military Corps of the Red Cross and of the Volunteer Nurse Corps of the Italian Red Cross. On Ship Etna a rate of civil defense employees is also embarked, which will operate from the ship's workshops for technical support in adhering to the naval team's units.
The ships of the Naval Squadron will also conduct targeted training in the field of prevention and contrast of marine pollution and in Law Enforcement operations on the sea, along with Coastal Air and Guardia di Finanza naval units.
In total 6000 men and women will be trained in the sea.
The 2019 edition of the Open Sea also sees the participation of 48 students from the University of Aldo Moro of Bari, the University of Genoa, the Sapienza University of Rome, the Ca 'Foscari University of Venice and the Free International University of Social Studies (LUISS) Guido Carli of Rome. Students and lecturers, in the perspective of "contamination" with the excellence of the academic world, will be actively involved within the staff participating in the exercise as Political and Legal Advisors, Public Information, engineering and geology fields and marine geophysics.
The purpose of the Open Sea is to improve the levels of effectiveness and operational readiness and to favor the process of inter-force integration with the other Armed Forces, national agencies and with allies and partners, increasingly necessary and indispensable to ensure the defense of national interests, strengthening especially maritime surveillance in the Mediterranean. Training at sea is fundamental for the Navy as it is the most effective system to prepare personnel in the most realistic way possible to safely perform their institutional duties, providing the country with a naval force capable of facing modern challenges to maritime safety.
The exercise will end next May 10.