A US Navy ship is steaming to join a NATO effort to help the European Union shut down human smuggling operations in the Aegean Sea.
US military officials said Thursday the rescue and salvage ship Grapple set sail from Souda Bay in Greece, with the primary mission of conducing maritime surveillance and reconnaissance.
The Grapple is the first US Navy ship to take part in the NATO effort designed to help ease Europes migrant crisis.
Gen. Curtis M. Scaparrotti, head of US European Command, said “NATOs allies and partners continue to face a growing number of transnational issues on the alliances southern borders.”
He said the U.S. is deploying USNS Grapple as a “tangible demonstration” of its support for the NATO mission in the Aegean.