Captain Rick Schott of the Royal Canadian Air Force relocated from Geilenkirchen to Nisida to act as Liaison Officer for the period of the OAE Air Surge.
Nisida, Naples 4 July 2012:
Maritime Command Naples (MC Naples) recently completed a 10-day Air Surge as part of the ongoing anti-terrorist Operation Active Endeavour (OAE).
"We regularly carry out Deterrent and Surveillance Surge Operations using surface assets in conjunction with Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA)", said Lieutenant Commander Al Goode, Royal Navy, of the Maritime Operations Centre (MOC) in Nisida. "On this occasion the emphasis was on using the massive data collection capabilities of the NATO Airborne Early Warning and Control Force" (NAEW&CF) E-3A Component from Geilenkirchen, Germany.
The data from the air that is fed into the electronic - and human – analysis capability of the MOC, gives this headquarters critical maritime situational awareness. According to operational details from the MC Naples Data Operational Gathering (DOG) Cell, the E-3A were providing an average of 1,600 Automatic Identification System contacts a day as well as spotting vessels which could be considered anomalous. The majority of these anomalies were resolved directly in the MOC itself. Those remaining were identified using other assets.
Captain Rick Schott of the Royal Canadian Air Force relocated from Geilenkirchen to Nisida to act as Liaison Officer for the period of the OAE Air Surge. "My aircraft is the Boeing E-3A Sentry also known as the Airborne Warning and Control System or AWACS. The aircraft is designed to fly at an altitude of 29,000 feet and use its radar to track air and maritime contacts over a very wide area. We have been tasked to fly every day over the last two weeks with a crew of 15 persons, providing surveillance over the Mediterranean. We worked with various Maritime Patrol Aircraft and naval vessels to provide MC Naples with an accurate maritime picture."
OAE was launched in 2001 following the terrorist attacks against the United States. It has since evolved into a comprehensive counter-terrorism operation that is based on the collection and analysis of information of the maritime traffic and on the surveillance conducted by NATO naval and air units. Surveillance by military assets is – at irregular intervals – concentrated into specific areas of the Mediterranean with 'Surge Operations' during which larger scale sweeps are conducted.