Command of Standing NATO Maritime Group Two (SNMG2) was transferred to Rear Admiral Paolo Fantoni of the Italian Navy, on Monday the 16th of December 2019.
The outgoing commander, Canada’s Commodore Josée Kurtz, had commanded the group for a six-month planned rotation which began in June, 2019.
Over the last six months, SNMG2 consisted of between seven and twelve ships, divided into two task units, and patrolled the length and breadth of the Mediterranean and Black Seas several times over.
Vice Admiral Keith Blount, Royal Navy, Commander of NATO Allied Maritime Command said:
“To Commodore Josée Kurtz, her command team, and to all of the ships that have contributed to the successes of Standing NATO Maritime Group Two over the last six months, Bravo Zulu. You have represented your nations and NATO with outstanding professionalism and have demonstrated the strength that NATO can harness. I am sure that Rear Admiral Fantoni will continue on this course, pulling together the contributions of nations from across the Alliance and working to a common purpose.”
SNMG2 ships provide NATO with a constant presence to “assure Allies and deter any potential aggressors”, say the Alliance.
They supported Operation Sea Guardian, monitoring NATO’s sea lanes and contributing to maritime security; they monitored the migration crises in the Aegean Sea; and they routinely trained with Allies and Partners, including participation in six large multinational exercises and numerous individual training opportunities, enhancing Alliance interoperability.