Third Ukrainian ship supports Operation Active Endeavour
The Hetman Sagaidachny, a Ukrainian frigate with a ship-borne helicopter, has deployed in support of Operation Active Endeavour, NATO’s maritime counter-terrorist operation in the Mediterranean, from 30 May to 2 August.
This is the third Ukrainian ship to deploy in support of the operation. The two-month deployment is the most significant to date. In 2007, two Ukrainian ships deployed for shorter periods: the frigate Ternopil, from 25 May to 3 July, followed by the corvette Lutsk from 24 November to 11 December.
Ukraine is planning to deploy a fourth ship, a corvette, in September/November 2008. The same level of support is planned for 2009. Ukraine also supports Operation Active Endeavour through information exchange.
Currently the only Partner country to actively support all NATO-led operations and missions, Ukraine continues to demonstrate its commitment to the fight against terrorism and to promoting security and stability in the Euro-Atlantic area and beyond.
Fit for duty
The participation of the Ukrainian ship in Operation Active Endeavour was authorized by the North Atlantic Council – NATO’s highest decision-making body – on 29 May.
This followed the successful completion of final preparations and “Force Integration Training” with NATO. The training, conducted in the Mediterranean, facilitated by an Italian frigate, concluded on 21 May.
An exchange of letters between NATO and Ukraine in April 2005 provided the basis for Ukraine’s support of Operation Active Endeavour. Following this, experts from Allied military commands worked with the Ukrainian Navy Headquarters in Sevastopol to ensure the appropriate training of Ukrainian personnel in NATO standard procedures and communications.
Operation Active Endeavour is part of NATO’s maritime contribution to the fight against terrorism. Launched in October 2001, it conducts surveillance and monitoring operations of the major shipping lanes of the Mediterranean.
In 2004, NATO decided to offer Partner countries, Mediterranean Dialogue countries and other nations the opportunity to support the fight against terrorism by contributing to the operation. Russia was the first Partner actively to support the operation – to date, it has deployed two ships in support of the operation (in September 2006 and September 2007) and is due to deploy a third in August/September 2008. Some Mediterranean-rim countries are cooperating by sharing intelligence about suspicious shipping operating in their waters.
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