NISIDA, Naples - The ships of Standing NATO Maritime Group 1 (SNMG1) left the Port of Naples today to begin a period of patrolling in the Mediterranean in support of NATO’s Article 5 Operation Active Endeavour.<br /> <br /> Led by the flagship HNMLS De Ruyter, SNMG1 will carry out a surge in a defined area so as to deter, defend, disrupt and protect against terrorism.<br /> <br /> “We had a deserved break in Naples following Exercise Proud Manta 12 but spent a lot of time getting ready for what will be an intense couple of weeks for the frigates of this Group” said Commodore Ben Bekkering, Commander SNMG1. Supported by air and subsurface assets we will aim to build and maintain a good understanding of use of the sea. Working closely together with the maritime HQ in Nisida, our presence should reassure seafarers, deter illicit activities and give us the tool to distinguish bad from good. As NATO’s nations depend on the free flow of goods over the seas, this mission is at the heart of NATO’s commitments.” <br /> <br /> Three frigates currently compose SNMG1 with HMCS Charlottetown and FGS Rheinland-Pfalz sailing alongside De Ruyter. They will be joined by support ship FGS Rhoen when they are in the patrol area.<br /> <br /> Operation Active Endeavour is part of NATO’s multi-faceted response to the terrorist threat. Its mission is to conduct maritime operations in the assigned area of operations to demonstrate NATO's resolve to help deter, defend, disrupt and protect against terrorism. As the Alliance has refined its counter-terrorism role over the years, the operation’s mandate has been regularly reviewed and its remit extended.