Commodore Morang assumed command of the multinational Task Group on July 8th 2022. It was deployed mainly in the Baltic and the North Sea, demonstrating NATO’s commitment to collective defence. During a challenging year following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, it made a significant contribution to maritime security in the region.
Speaking at the handover ceremony, Commodore Morang praised the staff and crew across the Task Group.
“They have all shown eager determination to contribute to NATO's deterrence of Russia and assurance of Allies,” she said, “especially in the Eastern Baltic, and to demonstrate NATO's ability to defend when the need would arise in these uncertain times.”
The Baltic Sea region is of great strategic importance, bordered by six Allied nations. NATO deploys maritime forces in the Baltic Sea in order to maintain a credible and capable defensive capability in accordance with treaty obligations.
Together we show that NATO is ready and standing as one, for that, we strive daily to ensure that our task group is visible, persistent and as ready for tomorrow as we are today
“The Russians tested us only once,” said Commodore Morang, “when Russian fighter aircraft from Kaliningrad Oblast overflew the Task Group at 300ft. This was an event where the risk of miscalculation presented itself in full. Fortunately, we had trained for situations like this, and all acted cool and professional".
Concluding her handover speech, Commodore Morang said, “A rewarding 6 month period in my long naval career has come to an end. I relinquish command of Standing NATO Maritime Group one”.
Rear Admiral Thorsten responded: “Together we show that NATO is ready and standing as one,” he added. “For that, we strive daily to ensure that our task group is visible, persistent and as ready for tomorrow as we are today!”
Currently, SNMG1 comprises German flagship FGS Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Polish Navy ORP General T. Kosziuszko and French Navy FS Aquitaine.
SNMG1 operates under NATO Allied Maritime Command (MARCOM). Headquartered in Northwood, United Kingdom, MARCOM is the central command of all NATO maritime forces and the MARCOM commander is the primary maritime adviser to the Alliance.