In a ceremony on January 7, Commodore Ad van de Sande of the Royal Netherlands Navy assumed command of the Standing NATO Maritime Group One (SNMG1). The command was transferred from Commodore Bradley Peats of the Royal Canadian Navy during a virtual ceremony between Ottawa, Canada; Allied Maritime Command in Northwood, UK; and Amsterdam, Netherlands.
“This command is a privilege to me personally and to the Royal Netherlands Navy. Together with our Allies, we stand stronger, my Staff and I will work hard to give the units the command and guidance they need in order to conduct their operations. My three priorities for the upcoming deployment are presence and posture, readiness and balance for the crews.”Commodore Ad van de Sande, Commander SNMG1
During the virtual ceremony, Commodore Bradley Peats sent his best wishes to the new commander and credits to all shipmates aboard HMCS Halifax and HMCS Fredericton. “Additionally, I thank our Allied sailors from the many navies who sailed with SNMG1 during my tenure as Commander,” said Peats.
SNMG1 is one of four NATO Standing Naval Forces (SNF) that provide the Alliance with a continuous naval capability and presence, which forms the core of the Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (Maritime).
NATO’s maritime strength lies in the ability of the Standing Forces and National Response Force elements to rapidly join with highly ready, advanced capability national forces and task groups. By being present at sea, training and exercising abroad, and conducting operations with Allies, SNMG1 is a force multiplier and provides a collectively trained and interoperable capability that NATO can confidently deploy as necessary.
Collective defence remains the Alliance’s greatest responsibility and deterrence is a core element of NATO’s overall strategy – preventing conflict and war, protecting Allies, maintaining freedom of decision and action, and upholding the principles and values it stands for.