U.S. Navy Rear Admiral Brad Williamson relinquished command of Standing NATO Maritime Group TWO (SNMG2) to German Navy Rear Admiral Jörg Klein yesterday during a brief ceremony conducted by NATO Allied Maritime Command’s Deputy Commander, Vice Admiral Bruno Paulmier, in Kiel Harbour where the former and current flagships are berthed.
SNMG2 has been commanded by Williamson since July 2014. During this period the Group conducted eight major exercises, including NOBLE JUSTIFICATION, MAVI BALINA, JOINT WARRIOR, DYNAMIC MONGOOSE, and BALTOPS and made more than 30 port visits to 18 countries (17 NATO nations and Mediterranean Dialogue partner Morocco).
Upon completion of the change of command ceremony, the new flagship of SNMG2 is FGS HAMBURG, a SACHSEN-class frigate. HMCS FREDERICTON remains with the Group, and will soon be replaced by HMCS WINNEPEG.
With the new flag raised on board FGS Hamburg, the SNMG2 is seamlessly carrying on these tasks, establishing a visible Alliance presence across the seas, participating in exercises and training across the Alliance and Partner Nations, and providing a high readiness capability for rapid intervention where it is needed.”
Now under German command, the Group will continue to play an integral role in support of sustained assurance measures, operational support and exercise participation.
Rear Admiral Klein said:
In the upcoming months Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 is going to fly the colors in the Mediterranean Sea again.