Royal Navy First Sea Lord Visits NATO Maritime Command Headquarters
NORTHWOOD, United Kingdom – Admiral Tony Radakin CB ADC, Royal Navy First Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Staff visited NATO Maritime Headquarters in Northwood today to learn more about NATO’s Maritime Command, its organisation and current operations.
Vice Admiral Keith Blount, Commander of NATO Maritime Command welcomed Admiral Radakin and the two discussed the mutual support and cooperation between the UK Royal Navy and NATO.
"It is vital for NATO Maritime Command to continue to speak with Allied Navy leadership to ensure we are operating in the best way possible. Ensuring interoperability among Allies at sea is key to NATO’s deterrence and warfighting power. The more practiced we are, the better we can defend Allied nations should the need ever arise,” said Vice Admiral Blount. "We are grateful for the Royal Navy’s contribution to NATO and look forward to it continuing.”
Royal Navy Type 45 destroyer HMS Duncan recently operated under the NATO flag as part of Operation Sea Guardian in the Mediterranean Sea and as part of Standing NATO Maritime Group Two in the Black Sea for US-Ukraine exercise Sea Breeze. At the same time, Royal Navy Type 23 frigate HMS Westminster served in Standing NATO Maritime Group One (SNMG1) in the high North Atlantic, participating in NATO anti-submarine warfare exercise Dynamic Mongoose 2019 while Royal Navy mine hunter HMS Ramsey contributed to Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group One (SNMCMG1) during exercise BALTOPS and historical ordnance disposal operation Open Spirit in the Baltic Sea and historical mine clearance operation Beneficial Cooperation in the North Sea. Working side by side with Allied sailors during these events honed warfighting skills for the crews and further solidified NATO techniques and procedures amongst all Allied participants.
MARCOM is the central hub for NATO maritime operations, playing a key role in the Alliance’s deterrent posture at sea, commanding NATO’s maritime forward presence, coordinating Allied maritime assets both within NATO and with Allied Navies to expand the agility and usability of the Standing Naval Forces. MARCOM is driving the reform of Standing Naval Force deployments, increasing flexibility and adaptability in ship schedules to meet the emerging and often short-notice requirements of NATO and Nations.