· Captain Manuel Aguirre Aldereguía has taken over from Italian Admiral Paolo Fantoni
The NATO Standing Naval Group 2 (SNMG2), HOTO ceremony between both commanders has taken place on board the italian frigate ‘Virginio Fasan’ at Rota naval base in Spain.
The event was attended by the commander of the Spanish Maritime Force (COMSPMARFOR), Admiral Eugenio Díaz del Río Jaudenes, and Admiral Ricardo Atanasio Hernández López, commander of Cadiz Arsenal.
This NATO permanent fleet will be patrolling the Black Sea and the Eastern Mediterranean during the next months.
NATO's permanent naval groups have a high level of readiness and availability and, also, a wide range of capabilities at the Alliance´s disposal. SNMG2 is an immediate reaction maritime force composed of a variable number of destroyers or frigates whose main task is to provide NATO with an immediate operational reaction capability in naval scenarios. The Spanish Navy has proudly served in those groups for over 30 years.
This group has been involved in several real operations during the Balkan crisis in the 1990s, in NATO's Operation Active Endeavour to fight international terrorism and prevent arms trafficking between 2011 and 2016, and since 2009 it has been deployed in the Indian Ocean in the framework of Operation Ocean Shield to fight piracy off the coast of Somalia and, also, protecting the World Food Programme (WFP) vessels.
The F-101 Frigate ‘Alvaro de Bazan’
This vessel, commanded by Captain Ricardo Gómez Delgado, is part of the 31st Squadron, based at Ferrol naval base. The F-101 will be hosted in Bulgaria, Ukraine, Greece, Algeria, France and Turkey; while deployed within the SNMG2.