Military


Operation Maritime Guard

The NATO North Atlantic Council decided on 20 November 1992 to support UN Security Council resolution 787 aimed at enforcing the UN embargoes in the former Yugoslavia. The Council agreed that enforcement operations by NATO maritime forces could commence in co-ordination with WEU forces in the Adriatic on 22 November 1992. The first ever NATO operation of this kind was co-ordinated with WEU forces (WEU Operation "Sharp Fence"), and was directed by the Commander-in-Chief Allied Forces Southern Europe, US Admiral Mike Boorda in Naples. It followed the NATO operation "Maritime Monitor", conducted from 16 July to 22 November 1992.

Patrols under operation "MARITIME GUARD" in an area in International waters off the Montenegro coast, while the WEU forces patrolled the Otranto Straits in international waters within operation "SHARP FENCE". The two forces have swapped patrol areas periodically since 29 December 1992. In addition to the NATO ships, airborne radar and maritime patrol aircraft participated in the NATO operation.

A total of 12,367 merchant vessels were contacted by NATO and WEU forces patrolling the Adriatic Sea and the Otranto channel until the operation ended on 15 June 1993, with the beginning of the NATO/WEU joint operation "SHARP GUARD". Of them, 1,032 were inspected, or diverted to a port to be inspected. Nine ships were found to be in violation of the UN embargoes.

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