NATO Group Continues Duties on Operation Active Endeavour

21 Mar 2013

After a highly successful visit to Aksaz, Turkey, Standing NATO Maritime group 1 (SNMG1) is continuing its mission to bring the message of NATO and Operation Active Endeavour to the maritime community in the eastern Mediterranean.

The recent visit to Aksaz, provided a welcome opportunity to extend hospitality to key regional personalities and enhance the excellent working relationships with the Turkish. The Commander of SNMG1, Rear Admiral Georg von Maltzan, hosted a luncheon and force reception on board his flagship FGS HESSEN for invited guests including the Governor of Aksaz, Governer Fatih Şahin and the Commander of the Southern Task Group Rear Admiral Harmancik Ömer Faruk.

SNMG1 has been leading NATO’s enduring commitment to Operation Active Endeavour in the eastern Mediterranean since arriving in the area in late February. The Group currently consists of the German flagship HESSEN, the Turkish frigate TURGUTREIS and the German ship SPESSART. The French supply ship MEUSE is providing support to the Group. All the ships play their part in contributing to the overall aim of the mission; to monitor shipping activity and to detect, deter and protect against terrorist activity in the Mediterranean.

Turkish Frigate TURGUTREIS
Recently members of the force joined up with the U.S. Strike Group consisting of the Aircraft Carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower and her escorts, one of which is the German Frigate FGS HAMBURG. The units participated in an air defence exercise involving aircraft from the Carrier conducting mock attacks on the various units. The purpose of the exercise was to train together and extend common understanding of various tactics and procedures.

RADM von Maltzan said, "SNMG 1 is on the second Operational Surge and we have been working closely with the maritime community in the area of the eastern Mediterranean, reassuring mariners and continuing to demonstrate NATO’s resolve and solidarity against terrorism. The opportunity to increase our level of warfare training with the U.S. Strike Group was particularly special and demonstrates the Task Groups ability to conduct concurrent operations, should the need arise.”

Background Information

1. Operation Active Endeavour is NATO’s sole Article 5 Operation on anti-terrorism and was initiated as support to the United States immediately after 9/11. It aims to demonstrate NATO’s solidarity and resolve in the fight against terrorism and to help detect and deter terrorist activity in the Mediterranean, whilst keeping the sea lanes safe and protecting shipping. It is also helping to strengthen relations with partner countries participating in the Alliance’s Mediterranean Dialogue.

2. SNMG1 is a multinational integrated maritime force that forms part of the NATO Response Force and operates under the Allied Maritime Command in Northwood. The Force is permanently activated and held at high readiness in order to respond to today’s security challenges.


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