May 30, 2019 – Standing NATO Maritime Group One (SNMG1) ships departed Stockholm, Sweden, May 27, following a port visit during a routine patrol in the Baltic Sea.
Visits by the commander of SNMG 1, Rear Adm. Edward Cashman, U.S. Navy, and the SNMG 1 commanding officers to the Royal Palace were conducted, as well as shipboard events with the Swedish Royal Navy and the Swedish Defense University.
While at the Royal Palace, Rear Adm. Edward Cashman, commander of SNMG1, inspected the Swedish Royal Guard and met with local military and civilian officials. Cashman was also invited to speak to students at the Swedish Defense University. The students then toured USS Gravely (DDG-107), the SNMG1 Flagship.
“Sweden is a founding nation of NATO’s Partnership for Peace program and has been a world leader in peace and security operations around the world.” said Cashman. “This visit enables us to maintain working relationships with Swedish Royal Navy, while also giving the Sailors from the SNMG ships the opportunity to experience the beautiful and historic city of Stockholm.”
SNMG1 Sailors connected with the Swedish Navy by providing tours of HMS Westminster (F237), ESPS Almirante Juan de Borbón (F-102) and SNMG1 Flagship, USS Gravely. ESPS Almirante Juan de Borbon was also open to local residents for tours over the weekend.
Culinary specialists from the Royal Palace visited HMS Westminster for a tour of the ship. Following the tour, they helped the duty chefs prepare dinner for the crew while exchanging culinary tips and comparing notes on food preparation in their respective countries.
“We hope to continue to enhance military-to-military cooperation and interoperability through exchanges like the one we did with the chefs from the Swedish Royal Palace,” said Chef Christopher Hooper-Callcut of HMS Westminster. “It was great training to all of us being able to share our experiences and learn new culinary skills.”
The Sailors were able to take a break from operations and enjoy some time off the ship, visiting the local area and taking part in city sightseeing tours sponsored by the Swedish Navy.
SNMG1 is currently composed of the U.S. flagship guided-missile destroyer USS Gravely, British frigate HMS Westminster, Polish guided-missile frigate ORP General K. Pulaski (FrR 232), Turkish frigate TCG Gokova (F-496), Spanish frigate ESPS Almirante Juan de Borbon, and German navy replenishment tanker FGS Rhoen (A 1443). SNMG1 is one of four standing maritime task groups composed of ships from various Allied countries, which form the core maritime capability of NATO’s Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF). The standing maritime forces provide a continuous maritime capability to execute NATO missions across the spectrum of operations, demonstrate solidarity, and strengthen diplomatic and professional links among naval forces.