Italian Navy Rear Admiral Pasquale Esposito handed over command of Standing NATO Maritime Group Two (SNMG2) to French Navy Rear Admiral Yannick Bossu during a ceremony on board the flagship ITS Morosini (P431).

This is the first time France has taken command of an SNMG.

NATO Allied Maritime Command (MARCOM) Chief of Staff, Spanish Navy Rear Admiral Jose Enrique Delgado, presided over the change of command ceremony on behalf of Commander MARCOM.

“I’m honoured to take Command of SNMG2 on board French Ship Somme; this is the first time France has taken command of a NATO frigate standing Force. Our multinational staff and I are eager to follow the path paved by Rear Admiral Pasquale Esposito and his staff in the reinforcement of the NATO deter and defend posture in Mediterranean Sea.”

The handover marked the end of a four-month deployment under Italian command. As part of NATO’s Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF), the Task Group conducted surveillance activities along the Mediterranean Sea Lines of Communication (SLOCs) and in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea.

Continuous monitoring of activities at sea, both civilian and military, “helps to build strong Maritime Situational Awareness”, say NATO.

“In the context of the war in Ukraine, NATO VJTF endeavor their effort to the monitoring of Russian maritime activities in the Mediterranean Sea.”

Tom has spent the last 13 years working in the defence industry, specifically military and commercial shipbuilding. His work has taken him around Europe and the Far East, he is currently based in Scotland.
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