List Of Warships Taking Part In Operation Unified Protector

NATO has published the names of the warships taking part in the arms embargo against Libya, as called for in UN Security Council Resolution 1973.

On left is the screen shot from NATO website showing the photos of the participating ships. The regular readers of this blog will find the two photos I have marked very very familiar.

The photos of the Turkish warships are directly linked to this blog.


The list of the participating ships is below:

A-5326 ITS Etna Tanker Italy
C-551 ITS Garibaldi Carrier Italy
F-572 ITS Libeccio Frigate Italy
P-492 ITS C. Bettica OPV Italy
F-339 HMCS Charlottetown Frigate Canada
F-85 HMS Cumberland Frigate UK
F-451 HS Limnos Frigate Greece
F-104 ESPS Mendez Nunez Frigate (!) Spain
F-490 TCG Gaziantep Frigate Turkey
F-492 TCG Gemlik Frigate Turkey
F-493 TCG Gelibolu Frigate Turkey
F-243 TCG Yıldırım Frigate Turkey
A-590 TCG Akar Tanker Turkey
M-853 HMNLS Haarlem Minehunter Netherlands
M-923 BNS Narcis Minehunter Belgium
S-358 TCG Çanakkale Submarine Turkey
S-74 ESPS Tramontana Submarine Spain
Bosphorus Naval News

M/F Ankara Could Not Dock In Misurata

M/F Ankara

M/F Ankara is 25 miles off shore of Libyan city Misurata according to news reports.

The civilian ferry left Çeşme, İzmir with 2 tons of medical supplies,  3 ambulances.  On board are 15 healthcare professionals and a security detail of 10 too.

M/F Ankara was supposed to dock in Misurata to disembark her cargo and to pick up 200 wounded Libyans and deliver them to Turkey for treatment.  But the recent fighting in the city and the naval action just off the port prevented M/F Ankara from docking. The ship was 6,5 miles off the port, when she was pulled back by NATO warships as it was to dangerous to near the city where the clashes continue.

On 28 March 2010, one US Navy P-3C Maritime Patrol aircraft, one USAF A-10 attack aircraft and destroyer DDG-52 USS Barry engaged Libyan Coast Guard vessel Vittoria and two smaller crafts after confirmed reports that Vittoria and accompanying craft were firing indiscriminately at merchant vessels in the port of Misrata, Libya.

M/F Ankara will stay in region until the clashes in the city are over and it is safe to dock or the wounded Libyans will be transferred to M/F Ankara in high sea.

Turkey Continues Evacuations From Libya (Part 5)

Turkish ferry M/F Ankara is heading to Misurata Libya according to an announcement made by the Office of the Prime Minister.

She is carrying 2 ambulances and 2 tons of various medical supplies. On board are 15 healthcare professionals and a security detail of 10.

When in Misurata, the ferry will pick up injured Libyans and bring them to Turkey for medical care.

Turkey Continues Evacuations From Libya (Part 1)
Turkey Continues Evacuations From Libya (Part 2)
Turkey Continues Evacuations From Libya (Part 3)
Turkey Continues Evacuations From Libya (Part 4)

>Ukraine Sends A Warship To Libya While Romania And Bulgaria Prepares One


U-402 Konstantin Olshansky. NATO photo.

Exactly at midnight of 23th March 2011, the Ukrainian Ropucha 1 class landing ship U-402 Konstantin Olshansky Sevastopol to conduct Non-Combatant Evacuation of Ukranian citizens trapped in Libya.

She has passed through Bosphorus on 24 March 2011 early in the morning and left Turkish territorial waters late at night.

According to Ukrainian Goverment Portal the ship can accommodated 500 to 600 evacuees on board.

Large landing ship Konstantin Olshansky has all the necessary stores, including fuel and lubricants, and foodstuffs. To ensure the safety and security of citizens of Ukraine except the crew aboard the ship there is the unit of Marines with standard weapon, doctors from the Military Medical Clinical Centre of Crimean region and psychologists, interpreters with knowledge of Arabic.

It was not stated on the portal how long the NEO will last.

Ukraine is not the only Black Sea country that sends a warship to Libya. Both Bulgaria and Romania have announced that they each will send a frigate to participate NATO’s Operation Unified Protector.

Romania decided to send the frigate F-221 Regele Ferdinand. The Type 22 class frigate was purchased from UK in 2004. The Romanian government decided to increase the defence budget by 4,5 million Euros from reserve funds in order to pay the participation of the frigate.

Bulgaria, too will send a frigate to Libya. Bulgarian Defense Minister Anyu Angelov has issued orders to prepare the F-41 Drazki  of the Bulgarian Navy for participation in the NATO naval operation of Libya’s coast.

Both Regele Ferdinand and Drazki are currently in Black Sea and did not passed though Bosphorus yet.

>SACEUR, ADM Stavridis in Ankara

>Yesterday, on 23 March 2011, Supreme Allied Commander, Europe Admiral Stavridis arrived in Ankara for a two day visit.

I do not know when this visit was planned but the timing could not have been better, after yesterdays declaration that Turkey will take part in NATO’s arms embargo against Libya.

According to Anadolu Ajansı news agency, Admiral Stavridis had a meeting with Turkish Foreign Minister Mr. Davutoğlu yesterday. Among the discussed topic are NATO’s activities in Afghanistan and Iraq as well as the latest developments in Libya.

Today, Admiral Stavridis will meet with General Koşaner, Chief of Turkish General Staff.

>Turkish Navy To Help NATO Enforce Libya Embargo

>According to Reuters, Turkey agreed to provide 4 frigates, one submarine and one support ship to NATO, so that NATO can enforce the arms embargo imposed on Libya.

The alliance had offers of 16 ships to implement a decision to launch the mission taken by NATO this week, NATO military officer Brigadier Pierre St Amand told a news briefing

He said the ships included a command-and-control ship from Italy; 10 frigates — including four from Turkey and one each from Britain, Spain, Greece, Italy, Canada and the United States; submarines from Spain, Italy and Turkey; and auxiliary ships from Italy and Turkey.

St Amand said the NATO mission was authorized to use armed force to enforce the embargo.While agreeing to enforce the arms embargo, NATO nations have yet to agree to take part in a no-fly zone over and whether the alliance should have a leading role in the international mission.

Turkey, a Muslim state and a NATO member, says the air campaign over Libya led by France, the United States and Britain has already gone beyond the scope of last week’s U.N. Security Council resolution. There was no immediate word of whether Ankara would accept a compromise at NATO on 23 March 2011, Wednesday.

This just a very fresh news. I will be on the outlook for more information.

>Turkey Continues Evacuations From Libya (Part 3)


M/V Samsun and TCG Gelibolu in Tripolis.
Official Turkish Navy Photo.

According to Turkish General Staff website, the ferry M/V Samsun arrived in Tripolis escorted by the frigate F-493 TCG Gelibolu.

M/V Samsun will pick up Egyptian evacuees who wish to return to their country. This will be the second trip of the ship.

In the first trip M/V Samsun had 1075 evacuees on board while TCG Gelibolu had 81 on board.

There is nothing in the media yet but it seems the crisis on board of M/V Samsun is over.

M/V Fehim Bey seen from TCG Gaziantep.
Official Turkish Navy Photo.

In the meantime cargo vessels M/V Fehim Bey and M/V Purki arrived in Benghazi loaded with humanitarian aid. The ships departed from Mersin, Turkey for a joint aid action conducted by Turkey and UAE. The ships were escorted by the frigate F-490 TCG Gaziantep on their voyage.



>Lesson To Be Learned From Libya Evacuation (Part 2)


In my personal the the most important lesson that Turkey should learn from the Libyan NEO is that it is the high time for Turkey to invest in new, large, fast and seaworthy passenger ships.

Compared to the evacuation by air the evacuation by sea was very limited. Only 8351 person, 36% of the evacuees, were transported by sea. This is direct result of Turkey’s lack of suitable passenger ships. The 5 ferries Turkey have sent to Libya were all the available and suitable ships that a country with a coast line of 7200 km could muster. There are no other passenger ships with a longer range, larger capacity or better accommodations under Turkish flag.

Since the decommissioning Turkish flagged pure passenger ships in 1980’ies, long range cruise shipping is dominated by foreign companies such as Royal Caribben Cruise, Costa or MCS. And most of the local passenger shipping is limited to short hauled trips across the Marmara Sea. Therefore neither the government or the private companies invested in new passenger ships in the last decade.

The three ferries M/V Samsun, M/V Ankara and TCG Iskenderun are similar ships built to a Polish Baltic ferry design. The first two were constructed in Poland and the last one build with Polish help in Turkey. They are slow. Their average speed during the trips was around 11 knots. M/V Ankara needed 77 hours for its return trip from Benghazi to Istanbul. M/V Samsun is 28, M/V Ankara is 26 and TCG Iskenderun is 24 years old. Without any doubt they are reaching the end of their useful service lives. What would we do if the Libya crisis happened not today but in 5 or 6 years time. Where we forced to evacuate by using the fast ferries only?

The Austral build M/V Osman Gazi and M/V Orhan Gazi are fast and modern compared to the Polish ferries. But these ships are configured for 2 to 3 hours trips from one side of the Marmara Sea to the other. They lack the hotel facilities the Polish ferries have and they are prone to bad weather more than the other ships. These ferries had to wait in Marmaris for 3 days until the gale in the Mediterranean wind down before they could start their second journeys.

It is not possible to predict when or where the next Non-Combatant Evacuation Operation will be executed. But if the three previous operations can create an example it is safe to say that it will be in the Mediterranean. Therefore it is safe to assume that the next NEO will involve evacuation by the sea.

Now it is right time to investing in new passenger ships and find an economical solutions or business ideas to operate and maintain them. Or otherwise for the next civilian evacuation we might to beg for ships.

Lesson To Be Learned From Libya Evacuation (Part 1)

>Lesson To Be Learned From Libya Evacuation (Part 1)


The terrible events grabbed the attention of the world. But the chaos and the civil war is continuing in Libya. I personally feel that now is a good time to think about the Non-Combatant Evacuation Operation from Libya while it is still fresh in our memories and render the necessary lesson.

The NEO from Libya was the third of such operation Turkey conducted in the recent years.

The first noticeable NEO was evacuation from Albania in March 1997. The Knox class frigate F-251 TCG Adatepe was send to Albania to pick up 253 evacuees.

The second NEO was the evacuation from Lebanon in July 2006. This time the frigates F-493 TCG Gelibolu, F-504 TCG Bartın and the naval ferry A-1600 TCG Iskenderun were send to Beirut to pick up 700 Turkish citizens.

As you can see the previous operations were very small in scale compared to the latest NEO from Libya. Between 19 February and 4 March 2011, Turkey evacuated 23.127 persons from Libya.

I am very happy to see that the whole operation run very smoothly and there were no serious incidents that might endanger the lives of the evacuees. Neither the Gaddafi government or the rebel forces denied any landing of Turkish planes or docking of Turkish ships. And this is thanks to the relentless efforts of the Turkish diplomatic personal in Libya.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs grab the ball at the beginning of the incidents and never dropped it till the end. An emergency response center with 120 staff was immediately set up in HQ at MoFa and this ERC was the main command and control point during the whole evacuation operation.The Mofa personnel in Libya were also very active and in command of the things. This is one lesson the be learned. A strong presence in the filed and a powerful and acting crisis center at the HQ to organize everything.

In evacuation by air, Turkey was successful. Having a strong civil aviation sector is an important force multiplier for a nation. The national flag carrier, THY is expanding its fleet very aggressively in the recent years. So are the other domestic carriers. The large fleets of Turkish air lines helped them to divert enough planes for additional chartered flights from Libya. The civil planes carried 43 flights where as the cargo planes of Turkish Air Force executed 27 flights. 14.776 person, % 64 of the evacuees were transported by air.

Lesson To Be Learned From Libya Evacuation (Part 2)

>Turkey Continues Evacuations From Libya (Part 2)


Vice Adm. Mohab Mameesh on board TCG Gelibolu.
Official Turkish Navy Photo.

On 7th March the civilian ferry M/V Samsun and frigate F-493 TCG Gelibolu arrived at Alexandira Egypt.

There were 1075 Egyptians on board of M/V Samsun and 81 on board of TCG Gelibolu. 

Upon thier arrival the Commander of Egyptian Naval Forces, vice Admiral Mohab Mameesh visited TCG Gelibolu.

It is not clear however is the ships are going back to Libya for a second round.

M/V Samsun is still in Alexandria and yesterday one Turkish maritime news portal reported that 13 of the crew including the second mate and the chef submitted their resignations, citing that they did not want to work under adverse health (hygienic ?) conditions.

For more photos from Turkish Navy click here.


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