Allied Naval Forces Southern Europe

Allied Naval Forces Southern Europe (NAVSOUTH) was a Component Command in NATO's Allied Forces Southern Europe (AFSOUTH).

Between 1951 and 1953, after the establishment of AFSOUTH, Commander-in-Chief Allied Forces Southern Europe, initially Admiral Robert Carney of the United States, also held the title of Commander, Allied Naval Forces Southern Europe. With the creation of Allied Forces Mediterranean in 1953, a British-led major NATO Subordinate Command that was responsible for maritime operations in the southern region the command and title was disestablished.[1]

In 1967 the NATO Military Command Structure was reorganised with the disbandment of Allied Forces Mediterranean. Established in partial recompense was NAVSOUTH, reactivated on 5 June 1967. The first commander of the reactivated organisation was Admiral Luciano Sotgiu of the Italian Navy.[2] Its headquarters was located on Nisida island, Naples, Italy.[3] NAVSOUTH's tasks were the control of the sea, a 24-hour surveillance of its area of responsibility, the protection of the sea lines of communication, as well as the naval control of shipping in the Mediterranean Sea and the Black Sea.

On 28 May 1969 the future establishment of the Naval On-Call Force Mediterranean (NAVOCFORMED) was approved by the NATO Defence Planning Committee.[4] The ships were to be called together and exercised at least once a year.[5] Later the force was upgraded to standing status and renamed Standing Naval Force Mediterranean. Also formed later was the Mine Counter Measures Mediterranean Force (MCMFORMED)

At the end of the Cold War the structure of Allied Naval Forces Southern Europe was as follows:

In 2004, NAVSOUTH became Allied Maritime Command Naples.


From 1992 to 1996, COMNAVSOUTH led the joint Western European Union (WEU)/NATO maritime operation known as Operation Sharp Guard in support of NATO operations in the Balkans. The operation replaced naval blockades Operation Maritime Guard (of NATO; begun by the U.S. in November 1992) and Sharp Fence (of the WEU).[6] It put them under a single chain of command and control (the "Adriatic Military Committee", over which the NATO and WEU Councils exerted joint control), to address what their respective Councils viewed as wasteful duplication of effort.[7][8][9][10] Some maintain that despite the nominal official joint command and control of the operation, in reality it was NATO staff that ran the operation.[11][12]


  1. Gregory Pedlow. "Evolution of the NATO Command Structure 1951-2009" (PDF).
  2. Naples, NATO JFC. "JFC NAPLES | 6 - The First Reorganisation". Retrieved 2017-12-14.
  3. Chipman, John (2004-01-14). NATO's Southern Allies: Internal and External Challenges. Routledge. ISBN 9781134987733.
  4. NAVOCFORMED was activated 43 times between 1970 and 1991. Source: [consulted on 27 February 2015].
  5. Miller, David (2012-05-31). The Cold War: A Military History. Random House. ISBN 9781448137930.
  6. Carla Norrlof (2010). America's Global Advantage: US Hegemony and International Cooperation. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-74938-7. Retrieved June 7, 2010.
  7. Bruce A. Elleman; S. C. M. Paine (2007). Naval coalition warfare: from the Napoleonic War to Operation Iraqi Freedom. Routledge. ISBN 0-415-77082-3. Retrieved June 7, 2010.
  8. Christopher Bellamy (June 20, 1996). "Naval blockade lifts in Adriatic". The Independent. Retrieved June 7, 2010.
  9. Trevor Findlay (1996). Challenges for the new peacekeepers. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-829199-X. Retrieved June 7, 2010.
  10. Simon Duke (2000). The elusive quest for European security: from EDC to CFSP. Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 0-312-22402-8. Retrieved June 7, 2010.
  11. Giovanna Bono (2003). NATO's 'peace-enforcement' tasks and 'policy communities,' 1990-1999. Ashgate Publishing, Ltd. ISBN 0-7546-0944-8. Retrieved June 7, 2010.
  12. Volker Rittberger (2001). German foreign policy since unification: theories and case studies. Manchester University Press. ISBN 0-7190-6040-0. Retrieved June 8, 2010.
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