December 9, 2019 – Royal Norwegian Navy Commodore Yngve Skoglund assumed command of Standing NATO Maritime Group One (SNMG1) from U.S. Navy Rear Adm. Edward Cashman during a ceremony in Bergen, Norway, Monday Dec. 9.
RDML Cashman assumed command of SNMG1 in January 2019, with the guided-missile destroyer USS Gravely (DDG 107) serving as flagship for the first half of 2019 followed by the guided-missile destroyer USS Gridley (DDG 101) serving as flagship for the second half of the year.
“It’s been an honor and a privilege to work together with the allies over this past year, which marked NATO’s 70th anniversary, to deter conflict, maintain the peace, and contribute to the security of all of the Alliance nations,” said Cashman. “We operated on both sides of the North Atlantic which gives the alliance its name. NATO’s founders recognized the North Atlantic is not a barrier, it is a strategic bridge that connects the allies as they are connected by shared history and common values.”
He also said, “Together, we demonstrated the ability to quickly build and maintain readiness to respond to any tasking, including the ability to come to the defense of any nation as the maritime core of NATO’s Very High Readiness Joint Task Force.”
Cashman added, “It’s been a particular pleasure to meet and serve with the young men and women who volunteer to serve in the allied Navies. They make great sacrifices for their nations and the Alliance, spending months at sea in difficult conditions, away from friends and family. Their dedication, professionalism, and expertise remain the great strength of the alliance.”
Skoglund will command the group from the Royal Norwegian navy Fridtjof Nansen-class frigate HNoMS Otto Sverdrup (F-312).
“It is with a deep respect of the splendid leadership and professionalism of the US Navy that the Norwegian Navy now takes over SNMG1,” said Skoglund. “NATO’s maritime forces will remain available tools for our nations, and display the willingness and strength of the alliance. I look forward to working together with the highly trained and skilled sailors of our navies and show the relevance and importance of NATO in 2020.”
Under Cashman’s command, SNMG1 successfully completed eight major exercises, displaying the Alliance’s capabilities across all warfare areas. These exercises enabled participants to quickly integrate with national air and maritime forces, strengthening NATO’s overall capabilities, flexibility and agility.