|Photos by: OR9 Giancarlo Silvestrin (ITA Navy) - SNMG1 Photographer
NAPLES, Italy - The Standing Naval Maritime Group 1 (SNMG1) ended 2010 patrolling the seas protecting shipping from pirates in NATO's anti-piracy mission Operation Ocean Shield: it now brings its strength to bear in support of Operation Active Endeavour, NATO's anti-terrorist operation in the Mediterranean Sea.
Closely supported by NATO's E3-A Component (Airborne Early Warning and Control Force) and with the additional support of other Mediterranean-deployed NATO assets, SNMG1 will carry out rigorous deterrent patrolling in the Western and Central Mediterranean areas as part of NATO's determination to deny terrorists any capability for maneuver at sea.
SNMG1 is a multinational, integrated maritime force that forms part of the NATO Response Force; it is currently commanded by Rear Admiral Gualtiero Mattesi (Italian Navy) from his flagship ITS Etna . The group also contains German Frigate FGS Luebeck. The Spanish Oiler ESPS Marques De La Ensenada will be participating in associated support to SNMG1 only for the surge operation.
Operation Active Endeavour was formally begun the 26 October 2001 as a result of NATO implementing Article 5 of the Washington Treaty following the 11 September 2001 attacks on the United States of America. Its mission is to help deter, defend, disrupt and protect against terrorism in the Mediterranean Sea. It is currently conducted by Vice Admiral Maurizio Gemignani, Italian Navy, as COM Active Endeavour, from Allied Maritime Command Naples. Building on experience acquired over the years OAE has become largely network-based and has developed a considerable Maritime Situational Awareness through the use of modern tracking and analysis technologies. It also benefits enormously from cooperation with non-NATO contributing nations. However, surge operations remain an integral part of OAE and are specifically designed to deny terrorists the option of operating in the Mediterranean Sea.