The Italian Navy vessel joined Operation Orice in Qatar to secure the FIFA World Cup
The Thaon di Revel arrived at Doha last 14 November and since then, according to the Italian Defence HQs, is busy “patrolling international waters off the Capital in order to prevent illicit trafficking and possible terrorist activities”. As part of the articulated Qatari defense apparatus, the ITN PPA operates in full synergy with the air and naval assets of other countries such as the United States, France, the United Kingdom, Pakistan and Turkey.
The Italian Navy vessel was coming from the successful participation since the end of last August as Flagship of the Operation AGENOR, the pillar of the European-led Maritime Awareness of the Strait of Hormuz (EMASoH). The Thaon di Revel’s crew headed by commander Emanuele Morea, left La Spezia naval base on 12 August and through a short participation to the EUVAFOR Operation Atalanta joined the Operation AGENOR, which Force Headquarters command was assigned for the first time to an Italian representative, rear admiral Stefano Costantino, for the regular six months shift. The Operation AGENOR is led by a French officer, since 26th August being rear admiral Emmanuel Slaars, who is also the commander of the French Forces in UAE.
The EMASOH is a nine European countries (Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Norway, Portugal, The Netherlands) maritime security initiative to promote safe and secure transit and freedom of navigation for merchant shipping in the Gulf region, Strait of Hormuz, Gulf of Oman and the North Arabian Sea. EMASoH is deploying surface and air assets monitoring the area, in a de-escalatory way and in accordance with the international law to reassure merchant shipping.
Since the 1st September, for the first time in the history of EMASOH, the tactical commander and the staff of the Operation AGENOR (CTF 474) is embarked on a naval asset, the ITN PPA Thaon di Revel, in order to conduct maritime operations at tactical level at sea. The international embarked staff (Staff Afloat) was composed of military personnel coming from Belgium, Denmark, France, Greece, Italy and The Netherlands and supported for some activities by the staff which was operating ashore (reach back staff) at the naval base of Al Salam Camp in the United Arab Emirates, composed of personnel coming from France, Denmark and Norway. During the deployment, according to Italian MoD, the Thaon di Revel ship C4I suite was able to successfully support the tactical command and his staff, with the same efficiency as the same command being deployed ashore.
In addition to the patrolling of the Strait of Hormuz area, accompanying merchants vessels in order to contribute to the safe and secure passages of ships in the region, the Thaon di Revel has called in different capitals and ports of the countries of the Gulf and Arabian Sea, including Oman, UAE, Bahrein, Kuwait and Qatar, exercising also with the vessels of their, allied and friends navies in order to promote the dialogue and the cooperation at trans-regional level in support of the freedom of navigation, aiming for security, stability and prosperity in the Gulf.
Italy’s Operation “Orice” in support of Qatar security
The Italian Armed Forces joint contingent is composed by around 560 personnel coming for the same Army, Air Force and Navy with the task to support, together with the military contingents of France, UK, US, Pakistan and Turkey, the Qatar Armed Forces in providing the security and defence frame for the FIFA World Cup 2022 event, running from last Monday to the 18th December. The commander of the Italian join land component is general Giuseppe Bossa of the Italian Army, which activities are coordinated from Italy by the Joint Defence Operational Command headed by general Francesco Paolo Figliuolo. The maritime at-sea component based on the Thaon di Revel PPA platform is commanded by the same ship commander Emanuele Morea, directly reporting to the Joint Defence Operational Command in Italy. The Italian Task Force land component includes Army’s EOD (Explosive Ordnance Disposal), CBRN (Chemical, Biological, Radiogical and Nuclear) together with dog specialized units, while the Navy is tasked with patrolling and securing the coast proximity waters with a detachment of the Italian Navy MCM Command or MARICODRAG equipped with REMUS unmanned autonomous vehicles. The Air Force detachment is instead contributing to the air space control to counter potential unauthorized use of mini and micro drones with a dedicated C-UAS package. The Arma dei Carabinieri armed force provides a 14-personnel team including the Provost Marshal to directly support the contingent commander and a detachment of advisors as consultants of the Qatar security (Gendarmerie, Emir Guard and Military Police) and special forces.