NATO Observed Submarine Rescue Operation at TCG Alemdar
Submarines are considered one of the most strategic assets for navies. They are effective because they dive deep and surface at the most unexpected moment. Their operations are kept confidential. Their rescue operations, however, on the contrary, are completely open.
NATO started to consider submarine rescue operations as a global operation after the "Kursk" submarine tragedy from the Russian Navy. The submarine sank in an accident on 12 August 2000 in the Barents Sea, near the Norwegian coast. Whole submariners on board lost their lives. NATO defined the need to form a submarine rescue force. Submarine Escape and Rescue Working Group was founded to coordinate international submarine search and rescue operations. After three years of work, The International Submarine Escape & Rescue Liaison Office (ISMERLO) was founded in 2004 in Norfolk, Virginia, USA. Since 2013, ISMERLO has been embedded in NATO and located in Northwood London - UK. The mission of the ISMERLO is to provide consulting services in accident prevention and respond quickly in case of an accident suffered by a submarine. Commander (Italian Navy/Marina Militare) Gennaro Vitagliano, the Branch Head of the ISMERLO, attended the NATO Dynamic Monarch naval exercise in Aksaz. On the media event day, he was at the TCG Alemdar MOSHIP to observe the operations. We interviewed Commander Vitagliano about the ISMERLO, the need for cooperation for submarine rescue operations and TCG Alemdar.