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European Union Naval Force Mediterranean (EUNAVFOR MED) Operation Sophia’s current provision of training has been designed to be conducted in three different packages. The first package was executed afloat on Operation Sophia’s vessels. The second package is being conducted in several tranches ashore in EU Member States. A third training package is currently being planned.
In accordance with the Operation Sophia’s capacity delivery mandate(1), all candidates undergoing training are subject to a vetting process, in which personnel data is submitted to partners such as Europol and the United Nations mission to Libya for security checks. Once selected and admitted, the candidates undergo medical screening, interviews and biometric data collection, before starting the training course. Operation Sophia has so far trained 136 personnel.
The training ranges from basic seamanship to operational sea training, all focusing heavily on human rights responsibilities. It is further aimed at enhancing Libya’s abilities to fight smuggling activities, and contribute to saving lives at sea within its territorial waters.
Italy and Spain, supported by other EU Member States, EU Agencies and Non-Governmental Organisations, have offered training under the second package which include modules on Patrol Boat Crew Training, Trainers’ Training, International Maritime Law, Visit Board Search and Seizure and Marine Engine Maintenance.
In addition, the Council amended Operation Sophia’s mandate on 25 July 2017(2) to set up a monitoring mechanism of trainees to ensure the long-term efficiency of the training of the Libyan Coast Guards.