An international group of allied warships have left Devonport Naval Base on Monday 21st after a routine visit.
The Standing NATO Maritime Group 1, comprising ships from the Royal Navy and the Spanish and Portuguese navies and a German auxiliary tanker berthed in HM Naval Base, berthed in Plymouth last week..
The group now sails to a European port after completing training and is also planning a Christmas break while remaining on short-notice for tasking.
The crews of HMS Duncan, FGS Rhoen (German Navy), NRP Alvares Cabral (Portugese Navy) and ESPS Almirante Juan de Borbon (flagship – Spanish Navy), met senior naval officers and Plymouth civic leaders with formal receptions in the city and on the flagship.
Under the command of Rear Admiral Jose Delgado (Spanish Navy) the group has patrolled North Atlantic and Baltic countries, including UK ports.
They conducted training and supported the Royal Navy’s Flag Officer Sea Training organisation off the South West coast as part of remaining at peak capability in order to respond at short notice to any urgent operational tasking. One of those key tasks was the recent shadowing of the Russian carrier force for two weeks in the Atlantic and English Channel and beyond for two weeks.
NATO has two standing multinational maritime groups, comprising vessels from various allied forces. They are permanently available to NATO to perform different tasks ranging from exercises to intervening in operational missions. They provide NATO with a continuous maritime capability and immediate response in peacetime and crisies and conflicts. They come under the command of the Allied Maritime Command in Northwood, near London.