CRIMARIO continues its activities
CRIMARIO continues to support the development of partnerships in perfect synergy with the EU’s future Indo-Pacific strategy. The project completed its Inception Phase in May 2021 after submitting its report to the European Commission. Since COVID-19 prevented an official launch of the project in the region, the Team commenced a regional promotional campaign remotely. The campaign commenced in the Western Indian Ocean before focusing on South Asia, explaining its objectives and planned activities to a wide audience including policy officials and managers of maritime centres, amongst others.
Simultaneously, the Team continued its bilateral discussions with potential partners – with the Maldives and the Philippines agreeing to start using IORIS and to join the IORIS Hub after approval from the Regional Coordination Operational Centre (RCOC) and the Regional Maritime Information Fusion Centre (RMIFC). The project also commenced capacity-building activities with a number of countries, especially those which needed to use the IORIS platform to participate in regional exercises as mentioned below.
IORIS continues to be a success as more and more actors realise that the neutrality and security of the platform offers a prime means to communicate and coordinate operations at sea, while effectively complementing existing information fusion systems. The Team is currently investigating ways to inject various data sources into the system such as satellite imagery, to better address safety and security threats.
One major conclusion drawn from the Inception Phase is the requirement for the various maritime systems to be able to “talk to each other” to improve maritime situational awareness (MSA). This led to the development of the SHARE.IT concept that aims to facilitate interoperability amongst systems, initially between Information Fusion Centres.
Tuesdays Second Chance In the spring, CRIMARIO launched its Tuesdays Second Chance series of webinars that are intended to bring regional professionals together, with a view to learning lessons from past incidents at sea by examining a wide variety of case studies. Initial webinars were focused on participation from the Western Indian Ocean, covering the MT Erika marine oil pollution incident off France (1999) on 18 May 2021 (pilot version) and 15 June 2021. TSC will now expand to Southeast Asia and include French interpretation.Read more
CRIMARIO II support to regional exercises After success in supporting the US-led Cutlass Express series of exercises in 2018 and 2019, CRIMARIO was invited to support Cutlass Express 2021 this summer. In preparation for this exercise, IORIS instructors delivered several online training sessions to participants from Western Indian Ocean (WIO) Navies (Djibouti, Somalia, Kenya, Seychelles, Madagascar, and Mauritius) and coached the two regional centres (RCOC and RMIFC). CRIMARIO II also participated in the US Navy CARAT exercise in Sri Lanka between 24 to 30 June, training 10 participants from the Sri Lanka Navy and Coast Guard beforehand, and also providing speakers for forum discussions on specific themes including the implementation of UNSCR 1325 on women, peace and security. The joint EU-India exercise held on 17-18 June marks IORIS first successful use to provide an exchange information tool for naval platforms at sea, connecting the Indian Navy IFC-IOR in Gurugram two and the EUNAVFOR Operations Headquarters.
Promoting CRIMARIO and IORIS The Team organised a series of introductory webinars to support the introduction of CRIMARIO and its IORIS tool to the regions. The first series targeting the WIO was conducted via six webinars between 6 and 8 April, in English and French. The series was attended by over 100 participants in each session. To introduce the project to South Asia, CRIMARIO chose to partner up with the National Maritime Foundation (NMF) under Vice Admiral (Ret’d) Pradeep Chauhan’s chairmanship, to host a joint webinar on 16 June. The online event gathered approximately 190 participants from India, Sri Lanka, Maldives, Bangladesh and Thailand. Moreover, the Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS) organised in La Réunion between 28 June – 1 July offered yet another excellent opportunity to meet senior officials from Indo-Pacific Navies. The EU, represented by EEAS, EU NAVFOR Atalanta, CRIMARIO and ESIWA, was invited to participate through France’s Chairmanship. Martin Cauchi-Inglott, Team Leader, highlighted the importance of information sharing, offering concrete solutions to promote information-exchange.