Standing NATO Maritime Group TWO (SNMG2) is now under the leadership of the United States following a Change of Command Ceremony in Malaga, Spain on Tuesday, 8 July 2014.
For the last 12 months, SNMG2 has been under control of Spain, specifically Rear Admiral Eugenio Diaz del Rio and his three flagships, BLAZ DE LEZO, ALVARO DE BAZAN and CRISTOBAL DE COLON.
Under Spain’s command, SNMG2 has been NATO’s immediate response force, has lead NATO’s Counter-Piracy mission in the Indian Ocean, OCEAN SHIELD, and been part of ACTIVE ENDEAVOUR, Anti-Terrorism operations, in the Mediterranean.
In addressing the Spanish Naval community, Vice Admiral Peter Hudson, Commander of NATO Allied Maritime Command said, “I commend you for an outstanding job in testing circumstances; your contribution deserves immense credit. The excellence of today’s event is an example of high standards sustained to the end – you and the Spanish Navy can be proud. I hope you all enjoy your hard earned break when you return home.”
The leadership of the NATO Maritime Group has been passed to the United States and Rear Admiral Brad Williamson, his staff and his flagship the USS LEYTE GULF. The other ships that make up SNMG2 include Canada’s HMCS REGINA as well as Turkey’s TCG KELMALREIS.
The Standing NATO Maritime Group will now take part in NATO’s Operation ACTIVE ENDEAVOUR, patrolling the Mediterranean and monitoring shipping in order to help detect, deter and protect against terrorist activity.
Press Release, July 09, 2014; Image: NATO