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 Dec 16 2019

Canada hands command of Standing NATO Maritime Group Two to Italy

In a ceremony held at the Taranto Naval Base in Italy, command of Standing NATO Maritime Group Two (SNMG2) was transferred to Rear Admiral Paolo Fantoni of the Italian Navy, on Monday, December 16, 2019. The outgoing commander, Canada’s Commodore Josée Kurtz, had commanded the group for a six-month planned rotation which began in June, 2019.

Over the last six months, SNMG2 consisted of between seven and twelve ships, divided into two task units, and patrolled the length and breadth of the Mediterranean and Black Seas several times over.

“To Commodore Josée Kurtz, her command team, and to all of the ships that have contributed to the successes of Standing NATO Maritime Group Two over the last six months, Bravo Zulu. You have represented your nations and NATO with outstanding professionalism and have demonstrated the strength that NATO can harness. I am sure that Rear Admiral Fantoni will continue on this course, pulling together the contributions of nations from across the Alliance and working to a common purpose.” said Vice Admiral Keith Blount, Royal Navy, Commander of NATO Allied Maritime Command.

SNMG2 ships provide NATO with a constant presence to assure Allies and deter any potential aggressors; they supported Operation Sea Guardian, monitoring NATO’s sea lanes and contributing to maritime security; they monitored the migration crises in the Aegean Sea; and they routinely trained with Allies and Partners, including participation in six large multinational exercises and numerous individual training opportunities, enhancing Alliance interoperability.

Ceremony in Taranto was presided by Vice Admiral Hervé Bléjean, Deputy Commander of NATO Maritime Command, as well as Harjit Sajjan, Minister of Defence of Canada.


Story by Allied Maritime Command Public Affairs Office

Commodore Josée Kurtz, Commander of Standing NATO Maritime Group Two, greets Canadian Minister of National Defence, the Honourable Harjit Sajjan, as he embarks HMCS HALIFAX ahead of the change of command ceremony in the Taranto Naval Base, Italy, on December 16, 2019.
Photo by: Corporal Braden Trudeau
Vice Admiral Hervé Bléjean, Deputy Commander Allied Maritime Command presides over the Change of Command Ceremony of Standing NATO Maritime Group Two aboard HMCS HALIFAX, on December 16, 2019.
Photo by: Corporal Braden Trudeau

Rear Admiral Craig Baines, Canadian Maritime Component Commander, congratulates Commodore Josée Kurtz following her remarks at the Change of Command cermony in Taranto Italy, December 16, 2019.
Photo by: Corporal Braden Trudeau

Vice Admiral Hervé Bléjean, Deputy Commander Allied Maritime Command (centre), presides over the Change of Command Ceremony of Standing NATO Maritime Group Two, between Commodore Josée Kurtz, Royal Canadian Navy (left), and Rear Admiral Paolo Fantoni, Italian Navy, at the Taranto Naval Base, Italy, 16 December, 2019.
Photo by: Corporal Braden Trudeau

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