NATO ships cooperate with Italian Navy to monitor critical undersea gas pipelines in the Adriatic Sea
Two minehunters from Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group Two (SNMCMG2) worked closely with the Italian Navy and local authorities to monitor the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) on the seabed of the Adriatic Sea.
A relatively new pipeline, TAP began carrying natural gas supplies in 2020 along cables stretching 878 Km. It runs through Greece and Albania and under the Adriatic Sea to Italy, supplying gas to around seven million households.
Regular monitoring of the integrity of Critical Undersea Infrastructure (CUI), including pipelines and communication cables, secures both the transfer of energy supplies and data exchange between nations. Approximately one third of natural resources are transported via undersea cables, while virtually all internet connections, including economic and financial transactions, are shared in this way.
TAP is crucial to European Union energy policy, delivering natural gas to Europe from the Shah Deniz II gas field in Azerbaijan.
The Allied ships of SNMCMG2 continuously train to improve their ability to monitor and protect CUI, while remaining prepared to defeat any threat to offshore infrastructure or the freedom of navigation.
SNMCMG2 is one of four standing naval forces that comprise the maritime component of the Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF), which is part of the NATO Response Force (NRF). To respond to contingency situations, additional forces can be added to this group, with the NATO command staff on board the Flagship, to be capable of providing timely support to NATO operations.