HISTORY OF THE ALGERIAN NAVY
The story of the Algerian Navy is an epic, swamped with heroism and patriotism, drawn by exceptionally noble men, who crossed seas and skimmed coasts, challenging dangers and risks, armed with courage and self-abnegation. These exceptional men succeeded in pushing back a myriad of campaigns fed by hegemonic tendencies aiming to seize the Regency of Algiers, disrupted the prevailing Mediterranean order and naval strategies at the time, dominated the Mediterranean Sea and used their fleet as a shield to protect the Algerian coast from enemies and the foundation stone of the Algerian State from the 16th century.
The unequivocal legendary exploits achieved by the Algerian fleet, were glorified and praised thanks to the convoy of Moorish refugees, fleeing pressure of Spanish inquisition of Andalusia. Otherwise, these exploits were cursed by enemies blinded by hatred and resentment, Spanish in particular, who managed many campaigns to destroy the Algerian fleet, particularly after the decline of the Islamic Caliphate and the fall of Grenada in 1492.
The Algerian fleet maritime supremacy of the Mediterranean Sea extended for three centuries, until the beginning of the 19th century. During this period the Algerian fleet was archaic towards the great technical and scientific progress made by European nations, because Reises of the time took no further interest in technological development, and then came the defeat of Navarino, in 1827, which left the Regency of Algiers, vulnerable to attacks. These circumstances urged on Charles-X to impose a naval blockade that had ended by the grip of Algiers in 1830.
Under French domination, Algerians were forbidden from practicing any maritime activity, until the day after the Congress of the Soummam, held in 1956, appeared the pressing need for training abroad executives in the service of the National Liberation Army (NLA) in the field of commanding boats and frogmen capable of laying and sweeping mines.
The war ended, the independence acquired in an atmosphere of national euphoria. Algeria recovered its territorial and political integrity as a State and Nation after the proclamation of its independence on 05th, July 1962. During that time, the Algerian navy was created in 1963, within the Ministry of National Defense (at Saint Georges Hotel, Hotel of Algiers nowadays), and was subsequently transferred on June 01st, 1964, into the Admiralty.
The National Navy knew a wide range of structural changes, dictated by the imperious necessity of managing this significant military corps with a more contemporary vision. During the period going from 1962 to 1977, the National Navy was a maritime directorate of the Ministry of National Defense and was retrained in 1986 to a high structure worthy of particular missions and organization.
Since the first year of Algeria's national independence in 1962, the development of the Algerian Navy was based essentially on the administration training and on purchasing the necessary equipment for the State.
After independence in 1962, the Algerian Navy consisted of :
two (02) warships of English construction, type mine clearers, baptized: "Sidi Ferruch" and "Djebel Aurès". It is worthy to mention, the sinking of " Djebel Aurès " in April, 1963, during a storm, during which the Algerian navy lost three of its men namely: lieutenant Ali Nourreddine and two other sailors;
hree motor torpedo boats VLT, received in 1963.
This stage knew an extensive training policy and the purchasing of new installations and fighting means capable of safeguarding our coasts against of neighboring countries greediness. Additionally, the National Navy purchased warships, support units, missile-armed crafts, torpedo-armed crafts, and other antisubmarine units, topographic ships, divers and minelayers support ships.
The recovery of the Principal Naval Base of Mers el Kebir, on February 02nd, 1968, was an important national attainment , due to the paramount importance of this base that allowed the Algerian navy to acquire a tool of command and of technical, logistic and deterrent support in the region, to plan an organisation and building of a naval engineering workshop and the deployment of its forces to confront any danger.
The National Navy is one of the Algerian Armed forces branches, in charge of emphasizing the defense policy of the State and its aspirations. It is also very much focused and engaged on addressing the challenges in the Mediterranean region, while dealing with a range of missions, to sum up : protecting sea traffic, safeguarding industrial buildings along the Algerian coastline, sharing maritime police activities and fighting against pollution and natural disasters.
Being aware of these problems destabilizing the Mediterranean region stability, our coasts security in particular, the Algerian Navy purchased various battleships namely: escort vessels, Ship missile launcher, missile launcher crafts, submarines, and support ship. The Coastguard National Service was also reinforced by: crafts of 20 meters length, crafts of 30 meters length, crafts of 12 meters length, crafts of 37.5 meters length, and purchased in early 1984 Rescue and (Hard Cover) boats.
The Algerian Navy took a huge footstep forward, enabling it to expand its operations and to carry out more operations of extreme exactness far from its coast .
Being aware of dissuading any incursion of the Algerian maritime area, watchtowers, coastal artillery groups, coastal defense missiles, and maritime infantry battalions were established along the coastline. The first bataillon was established in 1983, at Ghazaouet, during this period maritime patrol aircraft's were received.
To ensure technical and multiform support, the naval bases were reinforced by naval fleet repairs workshops. Many training centers and schools (for: Officers, Non-Commissioned Officers and jounouds) were established at Tamenfoust, Jijel, Arzew and Ghazaouet in specialties meeting the Naval Forces needs.
During this period, the Naval Forces were strengthened by infantry battalions.The second, third, fourth, fifth and sixth brigades were established, and had massively contributed in fighting against terrorism by land with the other People's National Army units. An AFFAK project and new departments were also created like the maritime department of missile launching corvette at the Eastern Maritime Seaboard, department of naval aviation, and the department of maritime approaches detection and control.
Today, the Naval Forces are changed into a huge workshop, by the concretization of many modernization projects, ranging from the ground installations development, like the Principal Naval Base of Mers el Kebir and the Naval Base of jijel, and by receiving new units capable of well safeguarding both safety and security of their area of responsibility . The Naval Forces aim to ensure the best training for the staff since their joining by providing all capabilities and means.
In addition, the Naval Forces received on 04th September 2006, "the Soummam" scholarship that was started by his excellence Abdelaziz Bouteflika, President of Republic, Chief of the High Command of the Armed Forces and Minister of National Defense.
The Algerian Naval Forces realized a big step in the operational domain by the establishment of cooperation and partnership links with foreign navies, the execution of bilateral and multinational exercises (REIS HAMMIDOU, MEDEX E, MEDEX I, EXPRESS PHOENIX and NATO), in addition to the campaigns of training and the long departures in high seas.