Dutchman assumes command of NATO flotilla
1 February 2012, 7.07 hrs
On 23 January 2012, Commodore Ben Bekkering took over command of the Standing NATO Maritime Group One (SNMG1) from his Italian counterpart, Rear Admiral Gualtiero Mattesi. The ceremony took place at the Taranto Naval Base, Italy.
The maritime group, also referred to as SNMG1, is an Immediate Reaction Force. It patrols regions where NATO wishes to protect its interests. In this way, SNMG1 contributes to the situational picture and also underscores the solidarity within the Alliance.
At the same time, the naval squadron maintains a high level of readiness, so it can be deployed rapidly and effectively for tasks varying from humanitarian assistance to an evacuation or ensuring security in a maritime area. The flotilla also serves as a forward command capability for the NATO Response Force.