Monday, September 25, 2006

NATO Mediterranean Exercise Brilliant Midas, Oct. 06

Exercise Brilliant Midas 06

29 September – 13 October 06
Between France and Corsica
To train and certify the eight rotation of the NATO Response Force, which 4 Norwegian missile torpedoboats are part of. Support elements for the MTBs will also participate in the exercise, as well as a NCAGS team (Naval Coordination and Guidance to Shipping).

NATO Exercise Brilliant Midas 06 (BRMS 06).

BRMS 06 is a NATO live exercise in a Crisis Response Operation setting. The exercise takes place 29 Sep – 13 Oct 2006 and the exercise area will cover those parts of the Western Mediterranean Sea that lie between Port Vendres, France to the West and Corsica island to the East. This area includes French territorial waters, Gulf of Lyon and land training areas at South France.

In BRMS 06 NCAGS will be exercised to monitor the movement of merchant shipping approaching, passing through and sailing within the NCAGS Area (see Annex A). One Shipping Co-operation Point (SCP) will be established at Marseille (FR). The NATO Shipping Centre (in Northwood, UK) will compile and maintain a live merchant shipping plot for the NCAGS area. Merchant ships voluntary reporting their position may be invited to participate in interaction with military forces. Masters and crews of participating ships hereby gain experience with this interaction. The co-operation of merchant ships will be of significant value for the exercise and ships are invited to participate in one or more of the following levels of co-operation, on a no-cost/ no delay basis:

Level 1: Communication Interrogation
Level 2: Close approach by naval units
Level 3: Accompaniment (Escorting)
Level 4: Simulated attacks by aircraft, helicopters and ships
Level 5: Simulated boarding
Level 6: Live boarding

Additionally, it will be of great interest for the naval units, if you are willing to make your ship available for live boarding (level 6). Supporting life boardings enables ship masters and crew to gain experience in being boarded by naval teams. A live boarding may be executed by boat or helicopter. All ship masters should be informed by their Ship owners about this possibility by promulgating attached Notice to Mariners (see Annex D).

Prior to the exercise each participating nation should inform ship owners, operators, masters and port authorities of the exercise and the intention to involve live shipping.

A NAVWARN will be promulgated prior to the exercise. Individual merchant vessels will be encouraged to report directly to the NATO Shipping Centre when approaching or sailing within the NCAGS Area (Annex A) by sending initial version of Format ALFA – Ship Data Card (see Annex B). The NATO Shipping Centre will then may request further information in accordance with the short version of Format ALFA (see Annex C). Reporting to the NATO Shipping Centre reduces in many cases unnecessary VHF calls between naval units and merchant ships.

To avoid additional costs, merchant ships can use the allocated ‘Freephone’ number for sending their reports. Alternatively, ships may complete the Format ALFA – Ship Data Card and use the allocated ‘Freefax’ number. Furthermore, the SCP MARSEILLE may contact merchant vessels passing through the NCAGS area.
Freephone: + 44 19 23 84 35 74
Freefax: + 44 19 23 84 35 75
Your co-operation is most sincerely appreciated.
A: NCAGS AREA – Exercise Brilliant Midas 06
B: Format ALFA – Ship Data Card (initial version)
C: Format ALFA (short version)
D: Notice to Mariners

FORMAT ALFA – Ship Data Card (short version)
For timings please indicate the use of local or UTC/Zulu
Section A – Ship Data
1. Ships Name
2. International Call Sign
3. IMO Number
4. General Nature of Cargo
Section B – Voyage Data
5. Last Port of Call, departure date and time
6. Current Position, date and time
7. Next Port of Call, arrival date and time
8. Additional ports of call, dates and times
9. Additional Information as Required