NATO’s SNMG1 concludes Mediterranean Sea stint

Ships form NATO’s Standing Maritime Group 1 have concluded their Mediterranean Sea stint taking part in exercises with regional navies and supporting operation Sea Guardian.

The group is now heading for the English Channel where they will attend Flag Officer Sea Training (FOST) drills before resuming their patrol.

During its time in the Mediterranean, SNMG1 was part of an eight NATO-ship force patrolling international waters of the western Mediterranean Sea.

Ships from Norway, Portugal, Germany, Spain, Canada, the Netherlands and Denmark, in cooperation with maritime patrol aircraft from Spain, France and Portugal took part in the operation.

SNMG1 also conducted a harbor visit in Algiers, and joint training with both the Algerian and the Moroccan Navy as part of NATOs Mediterranean dialogue.

“Our main task during operation Sea Guardian was to support NATO’s maritime awareness in the Mediterranean, uphold freedom of navigation and deter terrorism,” said commodore Petter Kammerhuber who is in command of the SNMG1 until January 2018.

While conducting the operation, the ships also trained together, and participated in the large NATO exercise Brilliant Mariner – together with 30 other warships.

The group patrolled the Mediterranean as part of operation Sea Guardian from September 23 until November 4, concentrating on gathering pattern-of-life information about maritime activities in the international waters of the Western Mediterranean Sea from the Strait of Gibraltar to the strait between Sardinia and Algiers.

While operating in the area, the SNMG1 identified 1432 motor vessels, from large commercial shipping vessels to smaller fishing vessels. The group hailed 34 of those ships in support of building a better understanding of the activities occurring at sea in the western Mediterranean.

The group was supported by NATO assigned Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA) to cover the area and monitor the maritime activities. This information is relayed back to Allied Maritime Command and added to the NATO Recognized Maritime Picture (RMP), a common picture available to all allies.