US destroyer Gravely becomes NATO group flagship

US Navy Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS Gravely (DDG 107) assumed the role of Standing NATO Maritime Group 1 (SNMG1) flagship in a change of command ceremony in Denmark on January 14.

US Navy Rear Adm. Edward Cashman assumed command of SNMG1 from Royal Danish Navy Commodore Anders Friis and will command the group from the new flagship, Gravely.

Prior to Gravely becoming the flagship, SNMG1 had been under Danish command since January 2018, with HDMS Niels Juel followed by HDMS Esbern Snare serving as flagship.

“My staff and I are honored to become part of Standing NATO Maritime Group 1 as we begin the 70th anniversary year of the alliance,” said Cashman. “I understand how important our mission is and what a critical time in history we are living in. The North Atlantic is a bridge that connects the allies, not a barrier that separates them. That connectivity is even stronger today and more important than ever to our security and to our prosperity.”

Gravely got underway from its Norfolk homeport on December 28, 2018. The destroyer was previously in the US 6th Fleet area of operations in May 2018 to participate in exercise Joint Warrior 18-1, an 11-day, semi-annual training exercise conducted in the coastal waters of the United Kingdom.

Cashman assumed command of SNMG-1 after serving as special assistant to commander, US Fleet Forces Command.

Photo: USS Gravely (DDG 107) is moored in Copenhagen, Denmark, Jan. 14, 2019. Photo: US Navy