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Tuesday, October 23, 2018

North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) roundtable discussion with Industry this week at Northwood HQ

An industry round-table discussion on maritime safety and security took place in Northwood, U.K., this week, hosted by the Commander Allied Maritime Component Command, Admiral Sir James Burnell-Nugent KCB CBE. It was primarily organised to obtain industry feedback on NATO's activities.


INTERTANKO U.K. Regional Manager Minerva Alfonso, as well as around 20 senior representatives of the industry, including BP Shipping, U.K. Chamber of Shipping, and several major shipping companies, attended the event, which comprised a briefing at the Northwood Headquarters, a tour of the NATO Shipping Centre and an informal luncheon discussion.


The group was briefed on the important role NATO has in building up its Maritime Situational Awareness and the critical role the NATO Shipping Centre plays in this. It was highlighted that ensuring maritime security involves detailed surveillance and building up a picture of activities, movements, and patterns over a period of time. This kind of situational awareness is crucial to military commanders, helping them to identify a vessel that may be involved in terrorist or other illegal activities.


Presentations by NATO officials covered the threats in the Maritime Environment, as well as the current Maritime Situational Awareness Activity, in which Operation Active Endeavour by NATO Naval forces in the Mediterranean Sea was highlighted. Since the start of the operation on 26 October 2001, nearly 79,000 merchant vessels have been monitored (as of 12 April 2006) by the forces of Active Endeavour. The surveillance operation utilises ships, aircraft and submarine assets to build a picture of maritime activity in the Area of Operations. On 3 March 2004 the operations were extended and the operations area now includes the Straits of Gibraltar.


The NATO Maritime Shipping Centre is based at Maritime Component Command Northwood in the U.K. The NATO Shipping Centre is NATO's single point of contact for information, advice and guidance to the commercial shipping industry on shipping movements, military exercises and operations.


Shipmasters are requested to report incidents and suspicious activities to:


NATO Shipping Centre

Atlantic Building

Northwood Headquarters

Sandy Lane, Northwood

Middlesex HA6 3HP

United Kingdom


Tel: +44 1923 843574

Fax: +44 1923 843575




Contact: Minerva R. Alfonso