Ministry of Defence logo Defence Staff logo
Mapa del mundo
 Deployments and operations

NATO Standing Naval Forces

NATO Standing Maritime Groups 1 & 2 and Standing Mine Countermeasures Groups 1 & 2.
Sailors aboard the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN-77) salute the Spanish navy frigate F-102

 

The Standing Naval Forces are under the control of NATO Allied Maritime Command which responds to Allied Command Operations.

They are comprised of the Standing NATO Maritime Groups 1 and 2, and Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Groups 1 and 2.

This multinational, integrated force is continuously available to perform tasks ranging from participating to exercises to conducting NATO missions. These forces are part of the maritime component of the NATO Response Force.

SNMG2 Crest

NATO has Standing Naval Forces (SNF) that provide the Alliance with a continuous naval presence. This multinational deterrent force constitutes an essential maritime requirement for the Alliance. It carries out a programme of scheduled exercises, manoeuvres and port visits, and can be rapidly deployed in times of crisis or tension.

NATO’s SNFs consist of four groups: the Standing NATO Maritime Groups (SNMGs) composed of SNMG1 and SNMG2; and the Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Groups (SNMCMG1 and SNMCMG2). All four Groups are integrated into the NATO Response Force (NRF), the Alliance’s rapid-reaction force.

SNMG1 and SNMG2

The Standing NATO Maritime Groups are a multinational, integrated maritime force made up of vessels from various Allied countries. These vessels are permanently available to NATO to perform different tasks ranging from exercises to operational missions. They also help to establish Alliance presence, demonstrate solidarity, conduct routine diplomatic visits to different countries, support partner engagement, and provide a variety of maritime military capabilities to ongoing missions.

SNMG1 and SNMG2 function according to the operational needs of the Alliance, therefore helping to maintain optimal flexibility. Their composition varies and they are usually composed of between two and six ships from as many NATO member countries.

SNMG1 and SNMG2 fall under the authority of Allied Maritime Command (MARCOM), Northwood, United Kingdom following MARCOM’s December 2012 inauguration as the operational hub for all Alliance maritime operations. MARCOM also has two subordinate commands – Submarine Command (COMSUBNATO) and Maritime Air Command (COMMARAIR) – as well as the NATO Shipping Centre, which plays an important role in countering piracy.

SNMCMG1 and SNMCMG2

The Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Groups – SNMCMG1 and SNMCMG2 – are multinational forces that primarily engage in search and explosive ordnance disposal operations. SNMCMG2 also conducts historical ordnance disposal operations to minimise the threat from mines dating back to the Second World War.

Both SNMCMG groups are key assets in the NATO Response Force (NRF) and are able to fulfil a wide range of roles from humanitarian tasks to operations. They can deploy at short notice and are often the first assets to enter an operational theatre.

SNMCMG1 was formed in the Belgian port of Ostend on 11 May 1973 to ensure safety of navigation around the ports of the English Channel and northwest Europe. Originally called “Standing Naval Force Channel”, its name was changed several times to reflect its expanding area of operation. Today, the Group is capable of operating nearly anywhere in the world.

SNMCMG2 developed from an on-call force for the Mediterranean, which was created in 1969. It also evolved over time to reflect its new responsibilities.

SNMCMG2 and SNMCMG1 were both given their current names in 2006.

SNMCMG2 Crest

The Military Planning Directive of 2017 includes among the operational situations for the action of the Joint Force (JF), the contribution to deterrence, which involves "actions of advanced presence and contribution to the Response Forces in the field of NATO and EU".

The mission of assets asigned to NATO by Spain is to conduct the deployment, withdrawal and coordination on support of the naval forces in the NATO groups (SNF) and to monitor the activities and operations carried out by the transferred forces.

The planned Spanish contribution is as follows:

  • SNMG-1
  1. 1 Frigate for a period of two months.
  • SNMG-2
  1. 1 Frigate for a period of six months as a command ship.
  2. 1 AOR for a period of two months. 
  • SNMCMG-2
  1. 1 minehunter for two six-week periods. MHC 'Segura' will be integrated within the SNMCMG-2 from October 15th to December 13th, 2021.
  2. From June 2021 to January 2022, BAM 'Rayo' is scheduled to be deployed as SNMCMG-2 flagship.
  3. From January 2022 to June 2022, BAM 'Meteoro' is scheduled to be deployed as SNMCMG-2 flagship.

2021

  • October 30th. Frigate 'Almirante Juan de Borbón' ends its deployment within the SNMG-1.
  • October 18th. Spanish minehunter 'Tajo' is integrated into the NATO naval group SNMCMG-2.
  • October 1st. AOR 'Cantabria' ends deployment within SNMG-2.
  • September 25th. Spain's ambassador to Turkey visits BAM 'Rayo' docked at the port of Istanbul.
  • September 17th. Frigate 'Almirante Juan de Borbón' gets integrated into the SNMG-1.
  • August 21st. AOR 'Cantabria' set off from Ferrol to join SNMG-2
  • August 5th. Spain's ambassador to Israel visits BAM 'Rayo', docked at Haifa port. 
  • June 25th. BAM 'Rayo' sets off from the port of Cartagena as SNMCMG-2 flagship.
  • June 22nd. BAM 'Rayo' begins its task as SNMCMG-2 flagship.
  • June 22nd. Frigate 'Méndez Núñez' returns to the port of Cartagena, ending its task as SNMCMG-2 flagship.
  • April 20th. Mine hunter 'Tajo' completes its integration within the SNMCMG-2.
  • March 26th. Spanish CHOD visits frigate 'Méndez Núñez', SNMG-2 flaship, at the Romanian port of Constanza.
  • March 22nd. Spanish frigate 'Méndez Núñez' takes over from frigate 'Cristóbal Colón' as SNMG-2 flagship.
  • February 25th. NATO kicks off its most important naval exercise in the Mediterranean, 'Dynamic Manta' 2021. Spanish frigate 'Cristóbal Colón' acts as SNMG-2 flagship.
  • February 19th. Spanish minehunter 'Tajo' is integrated into the NATO naval group SNMCMG-2. The integration ceremony took place in the port of Tuzla (Turkey).
  • January 9th. Frigate 'Cristóbal Colón' sets off from its home port in Ferrol to resume its misión as SNMG2's flagship.

2020

  • December 18th. Frigate 'Cristóbal Colón', SNMG2's flagship returns to its home port in Ferrol for 'winter dispersal'.
  • November 26th. The combat replenishment vessel (BAC in Spanish) ‘Patiño’ completed its integration into the Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 (SNMG-2) after two months of international deployment.
  • November 13th. Spanish Frigate ‘Cristobal Colón’ joins SNMG2 and takes over from Frigate ‘Alvaro de Bazán’ as flagship
  • November 10th. Mine hunter 'Duero' completed the integration in SNMCMG-2.
  • September 25th. Replenishment ship (BAC in Spanish) "Patiño" joins the Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 (SNMG-2).
  • September 20th. Mine hunter 'Duero' departs from Cartagena to join SNMCMG-2. The deployment will end in November.
  • September 19th. Fleet Replenishment Ship 'Patiño' departs from Ferrol to join SNMG-2.
  • August 14th. NATO´s SNMG2 Command Ship arrives in Rota Naval Base.
  • August 7th. Mine-hunter 'Tambre' returns to Spain after being deployed within the SNMCMG-2.
  • July 23rd.Frigate 'Álvaro de Bazán' supports 'USS Porter' on a medical evacuation.
  • July 1st. NATO’s Standing Naval Group 2 (SNMG-2), HOTO ceremony has taken place in Rota. Captain Manuel Aguirre Aldereguía has taken over from Italian Admiral Paolo Fantoni.
  • June 14th. Spanish mine hunter 'TAMBRE' begins its integration into the Standing Nato Mine Countermeasures Group 2.

2019

  • December 11. BAC 'Patiño' ends its participation within Standing NATO Maritime Group 2.
  • November 22. Frigate 'BLAS DE LEZO' ends its integration into SNMG-2.
  • August 27. Frigate 'BLAS DE LEZO' joins NSNMG-2.
  • March 1. Minehunter 'Tajo' is integrated into the Operation.

2018

  • September 14. ‘Turia’ minehunter, will be incorporated into the Standing NATO Mine Countermeasure Group no. 2 (SNMCMG-2).
  •  August 25. 'Cristóbal Colón' frigate departs from Ferrol to join the Standing NATO Maritime Group (SNMG-2), where it will remain until December.
  • February 25. 'Victoria' frigate departs from Rota to be integrated into the Standing NATO Maritime Group (SNMG-2) for the next three months.
  • February 15. 'Segura' minehunter joins the Standing NATO Mine Countermeasure Group no. 2 (SNMCMG-2) for the next three months.

2017

  • April 3. 'Reina Sofía' frigate is integrated into the SNMG-1 in Plymouth (UK).
  • April 1. 'Tajo' minehunter replaces 'Duero' in SNMCMG-2.
  • March 5. Handover/takeover (HOTO) between 'Almirante Juan de Borbón' frigate and 'Méndez Núñez' frigate as command ship at the Port of Tarento (Italy). “Patiño” supply-class fast combat support ship is incorporated.
  • January 29. Ship Captain Rubén Rodríguez Peña takes command of the SNMG-2 in Istanbul.
  • January 28. 'Duero' is incorporated into the SNMCMG-2 in La Spezia (Italy).

EMAD PRESS RELEASES ON NATO Standing Naval Forces

  • Units participating in Joint Warrior 21-02

    Frigate Almirante Juan de Borbón ends its deployment with Standing NATO Maritime Group 1 (SNMG-1)

    Frigate Almirante Juan de Borbón ends its deployment with Standing NATO Maritime Group 1 (SNMG-1)

    2021/11/10

    North Sea

    More information
  • Mine hunter's crew

    Spanish mine hunter 'Segura' joins Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group 2

    Spanish mine hunter 'Segura' joins Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group 2

    2021/10/18

    Aegean Sea

    More information
  • Ambassador during his visit to the bridge

    Spanish warship "Rayo" hosts the Spanish Ambassador to Turkey while in Istanbul

    Spanish warship "Rayo" hosts the Spanish Ambassador to Turkey while in Istanbul

    2021/09/25

    In Turkey

    More information
  • The frigate docked in the port of Greenock (Scotland)

    Frigate 'Almirante Juan de Borbón' begins deployment within the NATO Standing Naval Group 1

    Frigate 'Almirante Juan de Borbón' begins deployment within the NATO Standing Naval Group 1

    2021/09/24

    At sea

    More information
  • Vessels of SNMCMG-2 and Maltese Navy during PASSEX

    Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group 2 conducts a Passing Exercise (PASSEX) with the Armed Forces of Malta

    Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group 2 conducts a Passing Exercise (PASSEX) with the Armed Forces of Malta

    2021/08/24

    Republic of Malta

    More information