25-28 Mar. 2008

Port visit of NATO ship highlights NATO’s Operation Active Endeavour

As part of NATO’s public diplomacy campaign in the run-up to the NATO Summit, the NATO Public Diplomacy Division, together with Maritime Component Command Naples and the Romanian government, organized a two-day media and public affairs event 25-27 March 2008 in the Romanian port city of Constanta.

The event was held at the occasion of a port call by the Italian frigate ITS EURO, which has been participating in NATO’s only Article 5 operation, Operation Active Endeavour.  The main objectives of the port visit and the related media and public affairs event were to promote and increase public awareness of Operation Active Endeavor (OAE) and to demonstrate NATO’s resolve in the fight against terrorism.   

High-ranking officials attending the first day of the event included: Secretary of State in the Romanian Ministry of Defence Georgeta Ionescu, Chief of Romanian Naval Forces Admiral Dorin Dânila, NATO Assistant Secretary General for Public Diplomacy Jean Francois Bureau and Commander Maritime Component Command Naples Vice Admiral Roberto Cesaretti.  

A special “media day” for selected international and Romanian media was held the following day, which attracted more than 40 journalists who were briefed in detail on OAE by staff from CC-Mar Naples and the ITS EURO and participated in a press conference with the abovementioned senior NATO and Romanian officials.  Maritime awareness was put forth as an essential ingredient in the general fight against terrorism.

Media also inquired about ongoing preparations for the Bucharest Summit and NATO’s broader agenda.  Before leaving port, the ITS Euro also hosted a number of public groups on 27 March before its scheduled re-deployment and rejoining of OAE the following day. 

The ITS EURO visit to Constanţa has helped to highlight an important aspect of NATO’s activities, as well as Allies’ determination and collective action in light of security threats facing the Alliance and our partners.  Operation Active Endeavour serves as a reminder that NATO’s response to the events of September 11 will continue to evolve with the ultimate objective of enhancing security and stability in the Euro-Atlantic area and beyond.