Frontex supports Greece with almost 700 guest officers, who perform border surveillance, assist in the identification and registration of incoming migrants, as well as debriefing and screening. Operation Poseidon Sea is increasingly becoming a multipurpose operation covering a number of aspects of cross border crime including smuggling of illegal substances, weapons, detection, forged documents and many others. It also covers several aspects of the coast guard function such as SAR, detection of illegal fishing and maritime pollution.
When migratory pressure on this route dramatically increased in 2015, Frontex strengthened its operations on Greece’s most affected islands in the Eastern Aegean, bringing additional vessels and aircraft to help in patrolling and search and rescue operations. The agency also significantly increased the number of officers who assisted the Greek authorities with the identification and registration of arriving migrants and refugees, along with interpreters and forged document experts.
Between January and November 2016, vessels deployed by Frontex were involved in the rescue of 40413 people in the Aegean.
23 EU and Schengen – Associated countries are taking part in it with land, sea and air forces, technical equipment and officials.
The agency continues to support Greece in border surveillance, search and rescue, registration and identification of the migrants, but it also assists the Greek authorities in returns and readmissions from the hotspots.
Debriefing officers deployed by the agency collect intelligence about people smuggling networks operating in Turkey and migrants’ countries of origin. The agency shares this information with the Greek authorities and Europol.