Home  /  Media Centre  /  News  /  2021  /  Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group 1 Changes Leadership

Jun 22 2021

Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group 1 Changes Leadership

KIEL, Germany – In a ceremony held on USS Mount Whitney and via video teleconference on 19 June, 2021, Commander Jan Wijchers of the Royal Netherlands Navy handed over the command of Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group One (SNMCMG1) to Captain Sam Brasfield of the United States Navy.

During the almost six months deployment under Dutch command, SNMCMG1 covered almost 12,000 nautical miles, flying the NATO flag and contributing to constant situational awareness in the waters and ports of Northern Europe. They executed five mine countermeasure operations, found 89 historical ordnances, reducing the risk for maritime activities in the Baltic and North Sea; participated in two different naval exercises including BALTOPS 50. During the deployment SNMCMG1 visited 18 ports, delivering the message of NATO unity and active presence in the region. During the deployment the force maintained a continuous pandemic-free bubble, ensuring the availability of the NATO Force.
_nato4

It is a huge honor and privilege to stand before you today taking command of this Group,"said Captain Sam Brasfield. "SNMCMG1 is a multi-national integrated force that demonstrates a constant and visible reminder of the Alliance's solidarity and cohesion. This is the first time the U.S. will lead a SNMCMG, demonstrating our resolve and commitment in supporting NATO.

210619-rnln-snmcmg1-003sm-OOCiQ2
210619-rnln-snmcmg1-006sm-5IfaV3

"I would like to express my sincere gratitude and appreciation towards all SNMCMG1 personnel sailed under my command and thank them for their proven professionalism, motivation and excellent duty. With all respect, I hand over the SNMCMG1 command to Captain Sam Brasfield, and I am very certain that the readiness and professional skills and effectiveness of the SNMCMG1 under his command will continue to meet the highest standards", said the outgoing Commander of SNMCMG1, Commander Jan Wijchers.

Captain Sam Brasfield will command SNMCMG1 from the flagship FGS Elbe of the German Navy.

"It is a huge honor and privilege to stand before you today taking command of this Group,"said Captain Sam Brasfield. "SNMCMG1 is a multi-national integrated force that demonstrates a constant and visible reminder of the Alliance's solidarity and cohesion. This is the first time the U.S. will lead a SNMCMG, demonstrating our resolve and commitment in supporting NATO."

Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group One (SNMCMG1) is one of four standing maritime groups composed of ships from various allied countries. These vessels are continuously available to NATO to perform different tasks ranging from participation in exercises to operational missions. They also serve as an on-call maritime force as a part of the NATO Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF) while exhibiting forward presence and contributing to operational interoperability among Allied naval forces to support greater regional security and stability.


Search our content:

Address

HQ Allied Maritime Command
MARCOM Records Centre
Information Management Branch
Northwood HQ, Atlantic Building
Sandy Lane, Northwood HA6 3HP
United Kingdom

Media Operations

Public Affairs Office
Atlantic Building, Northwood HQ
publicaffairs@mc.nato.int