PLYMOUTH, England (NNS) -- Sailors from Standing NATO Maritime Group One (SNMG) 1 and Standing NATO Mine Countermeasure Group One (SNMCMG) 1 successfully completed a scheduled port visit to Plymouth, England.
While in Plymouth, crewmembers immersed themselves in the city’s rich maritime history and culture, and engaged with local community members through office calls, local media interviews, ship tours and community relations (COMREL) events.
Thirteen Sailors from the guided-missile destroyer USS Gravely (DDG 107), SNMG-1’s flagship, visited Plympton Academy in Plymouth to interact and read with students.
“It was very flattering to host crew from USS Gravely,” said Martin Edmonds, Plympton Academy teacher. “Meeting new people and talking about our lives and different experiences is hugely beneficial in developing our students’ general knowledge and helping to widen their cultural horizons.”
SNMG-1 and SNMCMG-1 staff took advantage of time in port by having force meetings and a pre-sail brief to prepare for future interactions and training evolutions while operating together during their next period at sea.
“This is one of those rare times when both NATO groups are working together outside of an exercise,” said Danish Cmdr. Michael Madsen, SNMG-1 staff planning officer. “It’s important to hold these briefs to coordinate our types of programs, and make sure if last minute changes come, we both know how to deal with it.”
With one of NATO’s missions being to strengthen the relationships among Allies, Rear Adm. Edward Cashman, Commander of SNMG-1, Royal Danish Cmdr. Peter Krogh, Commander of SNMCMG-1 and both groups’ ship captains took time out of their busy schedule to visit with Her Majesty’s Naval Base, Devonport Deputy Commander Col. Simon Chapman and the Lord Mayor of Plymouth Councillor Sam Davey.
“Each port call is planned so we can visit with our Allies, both military and civilian communities, and strengthen the relationships that make the Alliance so strong,” said Cashman. “They offer valuable opportunities to discuss regional security and stability, and build awareness and confidence in NATO’s ability to deter conflict and, if necessary, protect the members of the Alliance.”
SNMG-1 is currently composed of the U.S. flagship guided-missile destroyer USS Gravely (DDG 107), the German navy replenishment tanker FGS Spessart (A 1442), the Danish support ship HDMS Absalon (L16), the British frigate HMS Westminster (F237), and the Polish guided-missile frigate ORP General K. Pulaski (FrR 272) and is one of four standing maritime task groups composed of ships from various Allied countries. These task groups form the core maritime capability of NATO’s Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF). They provide a continuous maritime capability to execute NATO missions across the spectrum of operations, demonstrate solidarity, and strengthen diplomatic and professional links among Allied naval forces.
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