June 16, 2019 – Command of Standing NATO Maritime Group Two was formally transferred from Commodore Boudewijn Boots of the Royal Netherlands Navy to Commodore Josee Kurtz of the Royal Canadian Navy in a ceremony held aboard Royal Netherlands Navy frigate HNLMS Evertsen, and presided over by Rear Admiral Andrew C. Lennon, Commander Submarines NATO, representing Allied Maritime Command.
SNMG2 is one of four maritime task groups providing NATO presence, maritime situational awareness, and an operational response capability both in peacetime and crisis. It is comprised of ships from across the Alliance. Commodore Boots commanded SNMG2 from June 2018 to June, 2019. During this period SNMG2 participated in 8 large exercises ranging in location from the Norwegian Sea to the Black Sea and 19 smaller exercises. The group also conducted more than 24 port visits in both Allied and NATO Partner nations.
Commodore Boots recalled that last year upon taking command that it was “A dream comes true, to take over this command.” He went on to note that, “this dream ends for me, but will continue for Commodore Kurtz.”
Upon assuming command, Commodore Kurtz said, “I am deeply honored by the confidence that NATO and Allied Maritime Command have demonstrated by appointing me as Commander Standing Maritime Group 2. Canada is a founding member of the Alliance and I am proud to continue this commitment to the Trans-Atlantic bond, and to assume a leadership role among forces dedicated to making the world a safer place.”
SNMG2 is expected to continue routine security patrols and established exercises in the Mediterranean and Black Seas over the next several months.