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Standing NATO Maritime Group One changes Flagship

ROTTERDAM, Netherlands – Last week, 26 September 2016, ESPS ALMIRANTE JUAN DE BORBÓN (F-102), one of Spain´s F-100 Class Frigates, took over as flagship of Standing NATO Maritime Group One from ESPS MÉNDEZ NÚÑEZ during their port visit to Rotterdam.

ESPS MÉNDEZ NÚÑEZ’s service as flagship of SNMG1 began 27 May 2016, in Copenhagen, Denmark, when Rear Admiral Jose E. Delgado (ESP N), Commander of the Standing NATO Maritime Group One, and his Staff embarked from his former flagship ESPS ALVARO DE BAZAN.

After four months deployed, over 80 days at sea and 18.500 miles sailed, ESPS MÉNDEZ NÚÑEZ will return to her home port in Ferrol, Spain on 30 September 2016. During these past four months, SNMG1 visited 12 ports in 10 countries and participated in three major multinational exercises, BALTOPS 16, DYNAMIC MONGOOSE 16 and NORTHERN COASTS 16, proudly flying the NATO flag and reaffirming NATO's commitment and determination to Allies in the North Atlantic and Baltic Sea.

"We finish this deployment with the satisfaction on the accomplishment of the assigned mission. All the Mendez Nuñez´s crew did start the road to SNMG1 time ago. Now, after months of hard work and preparation we are proud to have delivered as Flagship of the NATO´s maritime leading edge” said Commander Paco Asensi (ESP N), ESPS MÉNEZ NÚÑEZ Commanding Officer. "The deployment has been an amazing adventure, operating with many navies and partners, sailing unusual and exciting waters and showing NATO’s and Spain’s flags throughout. We return home proud to have served COMSNMG1 and satisfied to have put our capabilities to very good use. Surely, we will never forget our time in SNMG1.”

The SNMG1 Commander, Rear Admiral Delgado, thanked the crew of ESPS MENDEZ NUÑEZ for their hard work and dedication during this deployment, as SNMG1 flagship, and wished them a safe return back to Spain.

SNMG1, composed at the present time of ESPS ALMIRANTE JUAN DE BORBÓN, NRP ALVARES CABRAL and FGS LUDWIGSHAFEN AM RHEIN, is one of four multinational, high readiness 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 of the NATO Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF).

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