June 16, 2019 (Google Translation) – The NATO fleet SNMG2 is no longer under Dutch command after a year. Commander Boudewijn Boots handed over the leadership of the ships to Canadian commander Josée Kurtz yesterday. The rapidly deployable fleet association was mainly active in the Mediterranean and Black Sea last year, where it carried out shadow activities among the Russians, among other things.
SNMG2 was close by when tensions between Russia and Ukraine increased in the Azov Sea. With the presence of the patrolling squadron, NATO wants to make it clear that it stands for freedom of navigation at sea.
The Netherlands participated in the first half year with the air defense and command frigate Zr. Ms De Ruyter. The 2nd half year with the air defense and command frigate Evertsen.
In the past year, the association participated in many exercises including the Ukrainian and Egyptian navies. The ships trained with Georgian boarding teams. SNMG2 also participated at the end of last year with Trident Juncture, the largest NATO exercise since the Cold War.
The transfer ceremony took place at Crete, on Evertsen. The Canadian frigate HMCS Toronto is now the flagship of SNMG2. Commander Boots had a total of 19 ships under his command over the past 12 months: “In operational, but certainly also in the diplomatic field, they have made an enormous contribution to making this deployment a success.”
On Monday 24 June, Evertsen will return home to Den Helder.