In order to strengthen naval presence and patrols in central Mediterranean, the Italian Navy participated in the European Commission project EMAS 0037 (Emergency Assistance).

The project has been developed, between April 1 2016 and March 31 2017, on the basis of a convention between the Italian Navy and European Commission - DG Migration and Home Affairs, signed on February 9 2017.

Aim of the program was to improve surveillance capability in the Mediterranean and to strengthen the deployment of patrolling  and control of maritime boundaries.

The EMAS 0037 project allowed the presence of an Italian Navy naval unit for 185 days and granted maritime patrols with the on-board aircraft, for 385 total flight hours.

These activities represented an invaluable contribution to maritime surveillance of a huge area of about 160,000 square kilometers, thus strengthening the naval deployment in the central Mediterranean.