Standing NATO Maritime Group TWO (SNMG2) has begun exercises in support of Operation ACTIVE ENDEAVOUR (OAE), two days after Rear Admiral Brad Williamson (US Navy) assumed command.
Williamson and his embarked international NATO command staff serve aboard the flagship, USS Leyte Gulf (CG 55), which is home-ported in Norfolk, Virginia. SNMG2 is also comprised of HMCS Regina (Canada) and TCG Kemalreis (Turkey).
The operation is part of NATO’s multi-faceted response to current terrorist threats. Participants in OAE conduct maritime operations in the Mediterranean Sea to help deter, defend, disrupt and protect against terrorism in the region.
“It’s important that we maintain a strong presence in the area,” said Rear Admiral Brad Williamson, Commander, SNMG2. “NATO and the maritime groups have made a lasting impact on maritime regional security through multinational cooperation; I’m honoured and excited to continue to execute that mission.”
Fifteen NATO nations and two partner nations have contributed assets to Operation ACTIVE ENDEAVOUR in the past. This is the first time that a U.S. ship has served as the flagship of SNMG2 since 2007.