14 October 2016 15.00

​The just concluded Exercise Emerald Move 2016 involved the deployment of over 3,000 personnel from 10 European countries in the waters of the central Tyrrhenian Sea and in the Sardinian range of Capo Teulada.

Ten member Nations of the European Amphibious Initiative pooled naval and amphibious forces, and command and control capabilities with a view to creating a European multinational amphibious force, able to deploy wherever needed, in a synergic manner and within NATO- or EU-led operations. From 3 to 14 October, the Navies of Italy – this year Host Nation of the event - France, Netherlands, Spain, Turkey, United Kingdom, Portugal, Belgium, Finland and Sweden conducted the second training exercise of this kind under the EAI, in order to test and increase the effectiveness and interoperability of an expeditionary amphibious capability, confident that working closely together in peacetime will allow for a more rapid and effective deployment of a European multinational amphibious force wherever required in the future. A strong signal of will, effectiveness and integration.

This Italian-led exercise was led by Commander in Chief of the Italian Fleet, Vice Admiral Donato Marzano, (OCE - Officer Conducting Exercise), with the Amphibious Task Force under Rear Admiral Salvatore Vitiello (CATAF). The Italian Navy participating assets included Aircraft Carrier ITS Cavour, providing command and control of the amphibious Task Force, ITS San Giorgio, ITS Carabiniere, the submarine Pietro Venuti, about 400 marines of the San Marco Marine Brigade and 71 Lagunari of the Reggimento Lagunari Serenissima based in Venice.
France participated with LHD FS Mistral and 200 marines, the Netherlands with LPD HNLMS Rottherdam and 117 marines, Spain with LHD SPS Juan Carlos I,  FFG SPS Numancia and 400 marines, Turkey with LST Osmangazi and 80 marines, the United Kingdom with 28 marines, Portugal with 90 marines, Belgium with 121 marines, while Finland and Sweden sent troops.

Ashore, in the Capo Teulada range - where marines trained in a variety of tactical movements techniques and procedures – the Landing forces were commanded by Rear Admiral Cesare Bruno Petragnani (CLF – Commander Landing Force), Commander of the Brindisi-based San Marco Marine Brigade .

Onboard training for crews at sea included complex naval operations, air attacks on the fleet, threat posed by submarines, maritime monitoring and surveillance, while troops exercising ashore were also confronted with bad weather conditions that added value to the assigned mission, which included amphibious assaults from the sea, tactical movements on the ground and neutralization of all enemy traps and ambushes, in line with the exercise theme, which was developed through two main phases.
The first phase – scheduling activities of growing difficulty -  ended on 7 October, with the visit of the Chief of the Italian Defence, the Chief of the Italian Navy and other civilian and military authorities, both Italian and of the countries which took part in the exercise, accompanied by the Commander in Chief of the Italian Fleet.

The second phase, based on a simulated crisis scenario, consisted in the amphibious task force tactical training, aimed at enhancing integration, interoperability and procedures. In particular, missions included simulations of activities with humanitarian, political and military implications, such as, for instance, Non-combatant Evacuations Operations (NEO) from crisis areas and simultaneous Casualty Evacuation (CASEVAC) operations conducted with specially equipped aeromedical assets.
This year's Exercise was focused on the testing and development of the expeditionary capacity of the European Amphibious Initiative amphibious force, the enhancement of interoperability among several navies and several landing forces, and improvement of the capability to operate thanks to the support provided by ships at sea. ERMO 2016 is another important step towards the EAI ultimate goal, which is to reach full integration and interoperability among the EAI forces, enabling the creation of a European amphibious force by 2020.