The most important points
- positions at sea
- mode of action
- Guerini’s strategy
- Sole information center
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Cruisers, frigates, destroyers. A total of 18 units plus two submarines. They constantly circulate in the Mediterranean Sea. They often stop “at anchor” in the stretches of sea where anchoring is allowed. They are the Russian military ships commanded by Vladimir Putin. Of course, under the strict observation of the Italian defense. Malfunctions are identified, secret service systems are running at full speed. Il Sole 24ORE is able to recognize the map of the Russian presence in the Mare Nostrum. A disturbing scene, though insiders know its presence is historic for decades.
The map of positions at sea
West of the island of Crete is a two-part Russian naval group of one cruiser and one destroyer, closest to the Italian coast. A second pair, always a cruiser and a destroyer, lies southwest of Crete. A frigate from Moscow is stationed off the Turkish coast. Then there is the powerful device, now known, of the Russian naval base in Tartus, Syria: it is estimated that there are two submarines and five logistical support vessels. Another logistics unit is in the waters south of the island of Cyprus, others are ready to help navigate more offensive units. The costs of staying at sea are high, and the fuel requirement is not only considerable. For reasons of confidentiality, not all units are shown on the graphic map. The total number of twenty units present was recently announced by the Navy’s chief of staff, Enrico Credendino.
Plays and tactics with a long history
The presence of the Mediterranean is known to the defence, especially the Navy, which has been involved, among other things, with Operation Safe Sea since 2015 with the surveillance and security of an area of about 160,000 square kilometers. Moscow’s uniformed sailors in the waters of the Mare Nostrum were notable for their ability to find anchorage. Areas outside of territorial waters, not so numerous but you can stop without being in constant navigation. Then there are Russian civilian merchant ships, which are more than suspected of serving the homeland of Russia in disguise. All in all, it is the so-called “Red Bear”: today it has to prove its visible strength despite the limitations and shortcomings of the naval systems used. Some of the modalities are still the same as with SovMedRon (Soviet Mediterranean Squadron), the NATO acronym developed during the Cold War.
Guerini: a strategy for the Mediterranean
The Russians exert their influence in Libya. You have ties to Egypt. In particular, Sudan should grant the Moscow military a military port. Not to mention the ongoing projections on the African continent of China, a world power that aims solely to unscrupulously expand its economic and political clout. Defense Minister Lorenzo Guerini wanted to launch a “Mediterranean Defense and Security Strategy”. A document corresponding to the current relevance of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict broadens its perspective, as well as the tactical and strategic scenario. “The defense must promote a systems approach – writes Guerini – for the exchange of information” so that there is “a unified action of the state at sea”. The so-called extended Mediterranean is a crowded scene. Many old and new actors visible and hidden. Constantly changing storylines. Repeat twists and turns.
Basic Priority: “Information Superiority”
Guerini emphasizes that “information superiority is the prerequisite for creating a decision-making advantage.” Defense must “confront and seek synergies” with all other departments involved in national security: “Internal, External, Infrastructure, Ecological Transition, Economic Development, National Agency for Cybersecurity, Civil Protection”. The so-called systemic approach: Guerini is pushing for the full operation of the “Diism (Integrated interministerial Maritime Surveillance Device)” launched in 2007 by the Presidency of the Council of Ministers. It is necessary to create “an integrated maritime surveillance organization for the management of all information collected at sea by the various departments through a single operations center – located in the Comm (Navy Operations Center), which has been used to date, albeit with excellent results , only in special cases and for temporary interagency actions “. Diism, a 15 year old project. The swarming threats in the broader Mediterranean could unlock him.