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Spain Takes Command of Standing NATO Maritime Group 1

CARTAGENA, Spain – Rear Admiral (Spanish Navy) Jose Enrique Delgado Roig took command of Standing NATO Maritime Group One (SNMG1) this afternoon, during a ceremony at Cartagena harbor, which was presided over by Vice Admiral Bruno Paulmier (French Navy), Deputy Commander of NATO’s Allied Maritime Command.

Admiral Delgado Roig received the command from Rear Admiral Alberto Manuel Silvestre Correia, (Portuguese Navy) while the new flagship, ESPS ÁLVARO DE BAZÁN conducted the operational handover with the previous flagship NRP D. FRANCISCO de ALMEIDA.

In attendance were the crews from ESPS ÁLVARO DE BAZÁN, NRP D. FRANCISCO de ALMEIDA and HMCS WINNIPEG, as well as local civilian and military authorities.

During the Portuguese period of command, SNMG1 has participated in exercises CONTEX-PHIBEX, BREEZE, NORTHERN COASTS, JOINT WARRIOR and TRIDENT JUNCTURE 15, and has contributed to Operation ACTIVE ENDEAVOUR, NATO’s counter-terrorism operation in the Mediterranean, visiting nineteen ports on to 10 countries along the way.

"This is a great Navy Day, and I have the honor to take the baton from my predecessor, who has brilliantly led this NATO Force over the past months,” said Rear Admiral Delgado Roig. "I take command of a Maritime Force that over the years has earned a reputation of comradeship and team work and which, at the same time, has achieved an impressive record of efficiency and professional achievement."

The Group will maintain its high state of readiness and capabilities to conduct the full range of conventional maritime missions, through continued investment in training and exercises with other NATO and partner nations.

"It has been an intense period full of unique experiences, operating across a vast area, from the North Atlantic Ocean to the Mediterranean, Black, Baltic, and Northern Seas,” said Rear Admiral Silvestre Correia. "In accordance with NATO’s mandate, we have delivered a prompt response capability, able to intervene and defend any of the Member States in addition to maintaining the ability to operate with their Armed Forces.”

"As immediate response force, standing naval groups are always the first point of call,” said Vice Admiral Bruno Paulmier, addressing the new SNMG1 Commander.  "We have clear direction from SACEUR to improve our readiness, ensure we are placed in the most operationally relevant area so that we can reassure the Allies of our ability and be able to respond if called. It will be a busy year for you and your staff. Be bold, be dynamic and be forward leaning, for NATO places much responsibility on your shoulders."

SNMG1 is one of the NATO’s four Standing Naval Maritime Groups, multinational integrated forces that project a constant and visible reminder of the Alliance’s solidarity and cohesion on the world’s seaways. This Force provides NATO a continuous maritime capability for operations and other activities in peacetime and periods of crisis and conflicts. An immediate maritime response to an emerging crisis or maritime operational requirement may be provided by the Standing Naval Force (SNF) under the command of the Allied Maritime Command, based in Northwood, UK. 

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