Operation Active Endeavour

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The insignia for operation Active Endeavour

Operation Active Endeavour (OAE) is a maritime operation conducted by NATO allies in the Mediterranean. The missions actions are aimed at preventing or countering terrorism coming from or conducted at sea and all illegality possibly connected with terrorism, such as human trafficking and smuggling of arms and radioactive substances.[1] Since it was first enacted it has searched over 79,000 merchant vessels.


OAE started as a result after September 11, 2001, as a response to the terrorist attack on the United States. It marked the first time in history that NATO members were called upon to fulfill article five of the North Atlantic Treaty, which stated that all members would come to the defense of an attacked member. The operations naval assists came when NATO reassigned its ships from of the cost of the Spain to the Mediterranean. This force took the name of Standing Naval Force Mediterranean (STANAVFORMED).[1] NATO also deployed Airborne Warning and Control Systems aircraft (AWACS)for air surveillance and early warning capability by transmitting data. In 2004, former NATO enemy, Russia, joined as a partner to the mission.[2] In May 2007, Ukraine military sea forces joined the alliance in its operations.


In 2006, the United States came forward with the idea of spreading NATO's OAE to the Turkey controlled Black Sea. Turkey, a NATO member strongly opposed the idea. They stated that it would be breaking the Montreux Convention, a treaty signed in 1936 which stated that foreign warships would not stay more than 21 days in the Black Sea during peacetime. Turkey also stated the having OAE in the Mediterranean would be redundant because of Turkeys own missions, Operation Black Sea Harmony and BlackSeaFor.[3] [4] Turkey and United States relations remained strained on the issue until the United States shelved the idea.


  1. 1.0 1.1 http://www.jfcnaples.nato.int/JFCN_Operations/ActiveEndeavour/Endeavour.htm
  2. http://moldova.usembassy.gov/062804_2.html
  3. http://www.heritage.org/Research/RussiaandEurasia/bg1990.cfm
  4. http://www.defensenews.com/story.php?F=1764645&C=navwar