Netherlands Transfers NATO Maritime Task Group Command to Germany

The Royal Netherlands Navy has officially transferred its authority over the Standing NATO Maritime Group 1 (SNMG1) to Germany in Den Helder.

Dutch forces assumed command of SNMG1 in July last year, operating across the Baltic and North Seas.

SNMG1 is a multinational task group dedicated to maintaining “a credible and capable defensive capability in accordance with treaty obligations.”

It operates under the NATO Allied Maritime Command, the lead and maritime advisor to the alliance based in Northwood, UK.

“We have carried the NATO message across Europe, from Lisbon in the south, to Bergen in the north and Helsinki in the east,” Royal Netherlands Navy Commodore and SNMG1 Commander Jeanette Morang stated during the handover.

“Every ship and every crew member has shown that it wants to do everything possible to contribute to this. As NATO, we have shown that we can defend ourselves if necessary in these uncertain times.”

Den Helder, 6 januari 2023Commando overdracht COCC SNMG1
Rear Admiral Thorsten Marx receives the NATO SNMG banner from Commodore Jeanette Morang. Photo: Dutch Ministry of Defence

‘Standing As One’

At the ceremony, Morang praised Germany’s efforts to support Ukraine in resisting Moscow’s ongoing invasion.

“They have all shown eager determination to contribute to NATO’s deterrence of Russia and assurance of Allies, especially in the Eastern Baltic, and to demonstrate NATO’s ability to defend when the need would arise in these uncertain times,” Morang said.

“Together we show that NATO is ready and standing as one,” German Navy Rear Admiral Thorsten Marx stated.

“For that, we strive daily to ensure that our task group is visible, persistent and as ready for tomorrow as we are today.”

Germany in Very High Readiness Joint Task Force

Earlier this month, Germany replaced France to lead NATO’s Very High Readiness Joint Task Force.

Around 11,500 land troops are expected to be deployed for this year’s formation, with German mechanized infantry groups to serve as the core of the task force.

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