On Thursday 30 March, Rear Admiral Luca Pasquale Esposito, commander of the fourth naval division of Augusta (SR), formally took over from Rear Admiral Stefano Costantino, commander of the third naval division based in Brindisi as tactical commander at sea of the operation Safe Mediterranean. To formalize the passage, during a ceremony held on board the ship Saint Mark, moored in the port of Brindisi, the team admiral Aurelio De Carolis, commander in chief of the naval team.
In 28 days of activity (from 3 to 30 March), with Rear Admiral Costantino in command, the maritime device - made up of various units including submarines and aircraft - and led by the flagship, Nave Saint Mark, has carried out maritime control and surveillance activities, to protect national fishing and merchant vessels, in the safety of infrastructures offshore and underwater, in contrast to illicit activities on the high seas, in an area that extends well beyond the waters west of Sardinia to the Mediterranean approaches to the Middle East.
A continuous and intense teamwork that also includes the planning and conduct of training activities with the Navies of the allies and partner countries, linked by the common interest of security and stability in the region. "The 1222 servicemen of the crews of ships, submarines, aircraft and specialist components who have taken turns in this fifth rotation of command - Rear Admiral Costantino underlined in his farewell speech - in addition to supporting international cooperation, have operated daily for surveillance, supervision and deterrence, demonstrating punctual readiness to intervene in different situations, with a proactive and multidisciplinary approach".
During this period, the interaction of the units should be emphasized Saint Mark e Doria in the Phibex-23-1 exercise with theExpeditionary Strike Group Spanish, led by the flagship of the Iberian navy Juan Carlos I, and with the Carrier Strike Group 10 of the US aircraft carrier Bush.
Commitment also underlined by Admiral De Carolis: "The Navy is engaged daily with an average effort which, between operational and training activities, has recently exceeded 20 ships a day, with aircraft and a total of over 2.000 men and women employed. I attended the annual conference between commanders operatives of the NATO Navies and there I was able to see how our strong commitment is recognized and appreciated".
Then addressing Admiral Costantino and his staff, he wanted to underline that: "albeit a short period of command, he made a significant contribution to the Safe Mediterranean operation, with a command style based on maximum effectiveness and extraordinary proactivity".
The place chosen for the ceremony was significant, the naval base of Brindisi, headquarters of the third naval division, a choice that made it possible to confirm the strong ties of the Navy with the city and local institutions, as a sign of continuity and cooperation.