Albanian patrol boat concludes navy’s first NATO tour
The Albanian Navy’s ALS ORIKU patrol boat on Wednesday (22 November 2017) wrapped up a full year of operations with NATO’s Standing Maritime Group 2 (SNMG2), marking a major milestone in the Albanian Navy’s first ever NATO deployment. Joining NATO’s Aegean mission in November 2016, the ALS ORIKU monitored and patrolled the waters between Turkey and Greece, supporting international efforts aimed at curbing human trafficking.
ALS ORIKU is an Iliria-class patrol boat manned by 21 crew members who rotated every two months throughout the year. During its NATO deployment, the Albanian patrol boat worked with navies from across the Alliance, including Germany, Greece and Turkey. Albania’s contribution to NATO’s Aegean mission will continue and at the end of November, ORIKU’S sister ship ALS BUTRINTI is set to join the NATO fleet.
NATO launched its mission in the Aegean Sea in February 2016 to help international efforts to stop human traffickers. Since the start of the mission, the number of illegal crossings has been substantially reduced.