and Exercises Centre (MOEC) and the Regional
HA/DR [Humanitarian Assistance/Disaster Relief]
Coordination Centre are co-located.
The SMCC supports the maritime security and incident
response operations of the Republic of Singapore Navy’s
Maritime Security Task Force, Singapore Police Force,
Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore, Immigrations
and Checkpoints Authority and Singapore Customs. The
IFC is an integrated MOC where maritime information is
collated and shared among international security partners
to enhance awareness of the maritime security situation.
The adjacent MOEC can be used for planning and conducting multinational operations or exercises, and the
Regional HA/DR Coordination Centre can coordinate the
response to contingencies to support humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations.
The IFC provides accurate and timely information for
maritime security, to allow agencies to respond quickly
through information sharing and cooperation with its
partners. The IFC is manned by an integrated team of
Republic of Singapore Navy personnel as well as international liaison officers from 16 other countries.
The Regional HA/DR Coordination Centre was effective in the 2015 Nepal earthquake by identifying where
roads were obstructed by debris, then finding and sending the military unit best-equipped to reopen them to
provide access into the disaster-stricken areas.
The IFC maintains a recognized maritime picture
that is collated and fused from the different information sources and linked to 69 operation centers and
enforcement agencies from 37 countries, and the number is growing. Together the centers can monitor vessels of interest and compile trends
The Italian Navy’s operations center at the Santa Rosa
compound at La Storta, near Rome, monitors the status of the Navy and its operations, and conducts the
business of the Maritime Surveillance Center and the
Virtual Regional Maritime Traffic Center.
“As the headquarters and the Maritime Operations
Center, we are focused on the maritime security, developing maritime situational awareness and executing
maritime security operations,” said Capt. Vincenzo
Montanaro, head of the operations department.
In addition to knowing where the Navy is, the center also watches other traffic. “This requires a reliable,
up-to-date picture of what’s happening in certain areas
of interest. The exchange of information and knowledge about the shipping environment is also crucial for
us. And cooperation with the shipping industry and
the other maritime operations centers is important in
order to increase our capability to understand what is
happening in a certain maritime area of interest.
“And we have an officer of the Italian Coast Guard
working here with us. We have links with shipping com-
panies and their vessels in port and when they are at sea,
to provide us with a valuable source of information that
can be also compared with other sources — classified or
unclassified — to provide better situational awareness,”
Montanaro said. “We can exploit and validate informa-
tion from them to increase our picture, and in exchange
we are able to better ensure their security.”
The Italian Navy has constabulary authority on the
high seas for matters of security, according to the United
Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea as well as
domestic legislation, but it also is capable of providing
humanitarian assistance. So when the Italian govern-
ment decided to strengthen the nation’s maritime sur-
veillance activity, the Navy got the assignment, working
with the Italian Coast Guard, which is responsible for
the Maritime Rescue Coordination Center.
As a national effort, Italy launched Mare Nostrum in
2013 to rescue migrants coming across the Mediterranean,
with an emphasis on humanitarian assistance and security,
covering an area at sea that is equal to three times the size
of the island of Sicily. It was replaced by the EU FRONTEX
Triton operations, which focused on border surveillance.
In March 2015, the Italian Navy launched Mare Si-curo, focused on the protection of national interests,
such as oil field platforms, Italian fishing vessels, rescue
operations and addressing illegal human trafficking.
“We use a multi-layered approach, which is called
the Integrated Maritime Surveillance. It means that we
normally create a capability basket of different data
coming from different sources. Afterward, we crosscheck the information, and we build a big database
that can be available at different classification levels to
WWW.SEAPOWERMAGAZINE.ORG 16 SEAPOWER / APRIL 2016
Ghana Navy Lt. Robert Agong monitors seaborne activities
from the Maritime Operations Center in Accra, Ghana, during Exercise Obangame Express 2015. The center coordinates all scenario-based activities of the exercise including
combatting illegal fishing, trafficking and piracy. Obangame
Express is a U.S. Africa Command-sponsored multinational
maritime exercise designed to increase maritime safety and
security in the Gulf of Guinea.