News: Surge complete, moving out.
NAPLES, Italy — As the Rock of Gibraltar appears in the early morning light, the ships of the Standing NATO Maritime Group 1 prepare to leave the Mediterranean Sea.
For more than two months they have patrolled the sea lanes of communications, reassured seafarers, denied terrorist room for maneuver at sea, acted as a deterrent force and have added to the maritime picture by observing and detailing patterns of life.
“Maritime safety and security is all about ensuring a free flow of goods over the seas and oceans and an assured access to ports and offshore installations. This is the ticking clock of the global economy. Our contribution, here and now, has been a relevant and rewarding one,” says Commodore Ben Bekkering, commander of SNMG1.
Under direction of the Maritime Command in Naples, HNLMS De Ruyter, FGS Rheinland-Pfalz, HMCS Charlottetown and ESPS Alvaro de Bazan spent the last two weeks of the patrols in the Western Mediterranean.
The De Ruyter and Rheinland-Pfalz will now move on to the waters around Scotland, where they will participate in the exercise Joint Warrior.