BERGEN, Norway – Standing NATO Maritime Group One (SNMG1) changes command Friday in a ceremony at the Norwegian Naval Base, Haakonsvern.
Commodore Ole Morten Sandquist (NOR Navy) was relieved today as Commander of SNMG1, by fellow countryman, Commodore Petter Kammerhuber.
Since taking command on January 14, Sandquist, his staff and flagship HNoMS Roald Amundsen, operated in the Alliance`s area of responsibility in the North Atlantic with several other Allied ships.
From the North Sea to the English Channel and the Baltic Sea to Iceland, the Group participated in several multinational exercises and conducted continuous patrolling, providing the Alliance with immediate maritime capabilities and Maritime Situational Awareness.
"It has been a great period of training and operations, and I trust that we have provided real Maritime Capability to NATO,” said Sandquist. "Units that have been a part of SNMG1 during this time have left the group with a higher state of readiness, and improved interoperability with Allies and partners.”
Norway is the command group lead of SNMG1 for the year of 2017, changing command mid-way. The flagship, which is also Norwegian, HNoMS Otto Sverdup is assuming flagship duties from HNoMS Roald Amundsen.
”Norway, and the Norwegian Navy, is one of the most steady and frequent contributors to the Standing Naval Force of NATO,” said the Norwegian Minister of Defence, Ine Eriksen Søreide. "We are taking our and NATOs role in the maritime domain seriously, and our contributions are also an important part of Allied burden sharing. In 2017, Norway has the command of SNMG1 for the whole year.”
Sandquist and Roald Amundsen leave the group after a busy program with a fair share of the time spent at sea, visiting 10 Allies and Partners in 17 ports.
The change of command ceremony was presided over by Rear Admiral Eugenio Diaz Del Rio (Spanish Navy), Chief of Staff of NATO’s Allied Maritime Command.