NATO SNMG 1 changes flagship

Standing NATO Maritime Group 1 held a ‘Spanish’ flagship change as one Alvaro de Bazan frigate replaced another on May 27.

ESPS Mendez Nunez (F-104) took over as flag ship from ESPS Alvaro de Bazan.

ESPS Alvaro de Bazan’s service as flagship of SNMG1 began December the 18, 2015 in Cartagena, Spain, when Rear Admiral Jose E. Delgado (ESP N) took command of the Standing NATO Maritime Group 1.

After more than five months deployed, more than 100 days at sea and 22.145 miles sailed, ESPS Alvaro de Bazan will return to her home port in Ferrol, Spain on June 2, 2016.

During these past months, SNMG1 visited 20 ports in 11 countries from the Northern part of NATO.

As the flagship, the ship and her crew provided an immediate maritime capability to the NATO Alliance, enhancing maritime situational awareness, exhibiting forward presence and contributing to operational interoperability to support greater regional security and stability.

SNMG1 is one of four multinational, integrated maritime forces composed of vessels from various allied countries. These vessels are permanently available to NATO to perform different tasks ranging from participation in exercises to operational missions.

These groups provide NATO with a continuous maritime capability and help to establish Alliance presence, demonstrate solidarity, conduct routine diplomatic visits and enhance interoperability among Allied naval forces. They also serve as a consistently ready maritime force to support the NATO Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF).