Denmark and Belgium have assumed command of two NATO standing maritime groups, the alliance said on Tuesday.
Royal Danish Navy Commodore Søren Thinggard Larsen assumed command of NATO Standing Maritime Group One from Norway in a ceremony on Monday.
SMG1 is one of NATO’s two multinational immediate reaction forces, providing continuous maritime security for NATO, and serving as an on-call force as part of NATO’s Very High Readiness Joint Task Force.
The Danish frigate HDMS Niels Juel will lead SMG1 through 2018.
In a separate ceremony on Monday, Belgian Navy Commander Peter Ramboer took over command of NATO Mine Countermeasures Group One from Latvian Commander Gvido Laudups.
Ramboer will lead the group from the Dutch torpedo ship HNLMS Mercuu.
Last year SNMCMG1 participated in exercises Northern Coasts and Joint Warrior and disposed of historical bombs and mines off the Latvian coasts.