Norwegian Navy Commodore Petter Kammerhuber handed over command of the Standing NATO Maritime Group One (SNMG1) to his Royal Danish Navy counterpart, Commodore Søren Thinggaard Larsen, in a ceremony on January 15 in Bergen, Norway.
SNMG1 has been under Norwegian command since January 2017, under the command of Commodore Ole Morten Sandquist (January to July) and Commodore Petter Kammerhuber (July to January).
During this period, Norway has provided staff officers flagship for the group in addition to this key leadership function. For the first semester, HNoMS Roald Amundsen served as the flagship, and was relieved by HNoMS Otto Sverdrup for the second semester.
“I feel privileged and honoured for having commanded one of NATO’s standing maritime groups,” said Commodore Kammerhuber. “It has even been the largest Standing NATO Maritime Group One assembled for decades. Together, we have executed an incredible diverse and rewarding program.”
In 2017, the group conducted maritime activities from the North Atlantic to the Mediterranean Sea, participating in nine major NATO and international exercises, enhancing interoperability among alliance naval forces. The group also worked with NATO partners Sweden, Finland, Algeria and Morocco and patrolled the North Atlantic, Baltic Sea, North Sea and Mediterranean Sea in support of maritime situational awareness for all of the alliance.
Commodore Søren Thinggaard Larsen will command the group from the new flagship, Danish frigate HDMS Niels Juel.
“It’s an honour for me to take command of SNMG1,” said Commodore Thinggaard Larsen. “My international staff and I are prepared and ready for the tasks ahead. I am looking forward to carrying on the excellent work done by Commodore Petter Kammerhuber and his staff. My units, my staff and I will do our utmost to live up to the bar which has been set for the standing maritime forces and continue promoting and demonstrating message that NATO is ready and standing as one.”
Standing NATO Maritime Group One (SNMG1) is one of four standing maritime forces composed of ships from various allied countries. These vessels provide a continuous maritime capability for NATO to perform different tasks ranging from partnership building and enhancing NATO relationships to being able to conduct high intensity warfare.