September 17, 2019 – Standing NATO Maritime Group One (SNMG1) ships participated in a photo exercise alongside the Royal Canadian Navy and other Allied navies Sept. 11 during exercise Cutlass Fury 2019.
SNMG1 participants included the flagship U.S. Navy guided-missile destroyer USS Gridley (DDG 101), the Royal Norwegian Navy frigate HNoMS Thor Heyerdahl (F-314), the Belgian Navy frigate Leopold I (F930), the Portuguese Navy frigate NRP D. Francisco de Almeida (F334) and the Royal Netherlands Navy frigate HNLMS Van Speijk (F 828).
“Canada’s exercise Cutlass Fury 2019 is an excellent opportunity to train together and demonstrate NATO’s commitment to the security of the North Atlantic, the strategic link which connects our nations and gives its name to the Alliance.” said U.S. Navy Rear Adm. Edward Cashman, commander of SNMG1.
“It was a particular honor serving today and seeing all of the Allies with colors at half-mast in acknowledgement of the anniversary of 9/11/2001,” Cashman said. “The Alliance is based on the principle of collective defense, that an attack on one is an attack on all. In its 70 years, NATO has only invoked that collective defense clause once, after the attacks on the United States on Sept. 11.”
Royal Canadian Navy participants included the maritime coastal defense vessel HMCS Glace Bay (MM 701), supply ship MV Asterix, frigate HMCS Fredericton (FFH 337), frigate HMCS Ville De Quebec (FFH 332) and coastal defense vessel HMCS Shawinigan (MM 704).
“Cutlass Fury provides an excellent opportunity for the Royal Canadian Navy to build interoperability between Canada’s principal partner nations engaged in North Atlantic security,” said Royal Canadian Navy Rear Adm. Craig Baines, commander of Maritime Forces Atlantic. “It allows us the chance to foster multinational cooperation and trust, and achieve national training objectives aimed at building capable and adaptable maritime forces.”
Other participating units included the U.S. Navy guided-missile destroyer USS Jason Dunham (DDG 109), U.S. Military Sealift Command underway replenishment oiler USNS Patuxent (T-AO 201), the Royal Danish Navy frigate HDMS Peter Willemoes (F 362), and the United Kingdom Royal Navy frigate HMS Northumberland (F 238).
Cutlass Fury is a biennial, medium-scale exercise off the coast of Nova Scotia and Newfoundland, with the purpose of unifying Canada’s Atlantic Fleet, Allied navies, and other joint elements in tactical-level warfare.
SNMG1 is one of four standing maritime task groups composed of ships from various Allied countries. These task groups form the core maritime capabilities 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.