Italian Navy kicks off Mare Aperto 2021 exercise

Italian Navy Marina Mare Aperto
Italian Navy ships during Mare Aperto exercise.

The Italian Navy (Marina Militare) kicked off on Monday the multinational maritime exercise Mare Aperto 2021. The Mare Aperto is the main exercise held every six months by the Italian Navy, this session will run until October 27 in the Adriatic Sea, Ionian Sea, Sicily Channel and Tyrrhenian Sea, after more than 18 months off due to Covid.

Over 4,000 sailors belonging to the Navy of 9 allied and partner nations, 21 naval units, 4 ITN AV-8B+ Harrier jump jets and 17 helicopters, including two Italian Army Mangustas (all embarked), 3 ITN submarines, Italian Air Force aircraft, including P-72A MPA, will be involved for 24 days in training activities with increasing difficulty.

Italian Navy Marina Mare Aperto

Ships and crews will exercise to consolidate and increase the ability to deal with the main threats at sea and from the sea, to prevent and combat illicit trafficking at sea, to deal with crises characterized by the presence of conventional and asymmetrical threats, as well as manage harmful events of endogenous nature.

The main goals include the certification of the Terza Divisione Navale (Third Naval Division) and the Brigata Marina San Marco (San Marco Marine Brigade) respectively as Commander Amphibious Task Force and Commander Landing Force as they will be involved in the NATO Response Force - NRF 2022. The Mare Aperto 2021 will have a strong air-naval-amphibious connotation, with the presence of a landing force composed of about 400 fusiliers belonging to the Brigata Marina San Marco, who will conduct power projection activities from the sea to support populations in crisis areas.

Italian Navy Marina Mare Aperto

The purpose of the Mare Aperto is to improve the effectiveness and operational readiness of the aero-naval component of the Italian Navy and to facilitate integration with the other Armed Forces. The foreign Navies and the agencies of the national maritime cluster are increasingly indispensable to ensure, in a holistic way, the defense of national interests, strengthening the presence and maritime surveillance of the Mediterranean.

The Italian Navy has always been engaged in surveillance activities to protect the national interests of the sea. Thanks to the consolidated intervention capabilities of the aero-naval component, it carries out constant maritime surveillance, which is indispensable for safeguarding national interests. Among the many activities are the control of the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) in order to ensure the protection of the marine environment and related economic resources (natural, mineral and energy).

Italian Navy Marina Mare Aperto

Written by Matteo Sanzani
Source, Images: Italian Navy

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