NATO Maritime Groups Changed Flagships

190723-N-UB406-0230 ROTA, Spain (July 23, 2019) Sailors aboard the guided-missile destroyer USS Gravely (DDG 107) man the rails as the ship pulls into Naval Station Rota as part of a scheduled port visit. Gravely is underway on a regularly-scheduled deployment as the flagship of Standing NATO Maritime Group 1 to conduct maritime operations and provide a continuous maritime capability for NATO in the northern Atlantic. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Cameron Stoner)

Standing NATO Maritime Group One (SNMG1) and Standing NATO Maritime Group Two (SNMG2) both transitioned flagship duties during a port visit to Rota, on July 26.

Flagship dutiy of SNMG1, the group that mainly operates in the North and Baltic Sea, was transferred from the US guided-missile destroyer USS Gravely (DDG 107) to the guided-missile destroyer USS Gridley (DDG 101), for SNMG2, predominantly operating in the Mediterranean and Black Seas, flagship dutiy was transferred from Canadian frigate HMCS Toronto, to HMCS Halifax. Both Rear Adm. Edward Cashman, Commander of SNMG1, and Commodore Josée Kurtz, Commander of SNMG2 will continue commanding their groups until the end of the year.

SNMG1 and SNMG2 are two of four standing maritime task groups composed of ships from various Allied countries. These task groups form the core maritime capabilities of NATO’s Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF). They provide a continuous maritime capability to execute NATO missions across the spectrum of operations, demonstrate solidarity, and strengthen diplomatic and professional links among Allied naval forces.