|Standing NATO Maritime Group 1|
|Cdr. Bradley Peats, Royal Canadian Navy|
Standing NATO Maritime Group One (SNMG1) is one of NATO's standing naval maritime immediate reaction forces. SNMG1 consists of four to six destroyers and frigates. Its role is to provide NATO with an immediate operational response capability.
In late November 1966, U.S. Rear Admiral Richard G. Colbert prepared a concept paper proposing a permanent Allied Command Atlantic naval contingency force based on Operation Matchmaker, an annual six-month exercise involving ships from NATO navies. The proposed contingency force was approved by NATO in December 1967 and activated in January 1968 as Standing Naval Force Atlantic (STANAVFORLANT).
During the 1990s, STANAVFORLANT was heavily involved in Operation Maritime Monitor (July 1992 to November 1992), Operation Maritime Guard (November 1992 to June 1993) and Operation Sharp Guard (June 1993 to October 1996), the maritime embargo operations in the Adriatic Sea established to ensure compliance by Serbia and Montenegro with United Nations (UN) resolutions 713, 715, 787, 820 and 943. Between November 1992 and June 1996 some 74,000 ships were challenged, almost 6,000 were inspected at sea and more than 1,400 were diverted and inspected in port.
The force was re-designated Standing NATO Maritime Group 1 in January 2005.
In September 2007, SNMG1 was in the Red Sea bound for Suez to complete a circumnavigation of Africa when the Jabal al-Tair volcano erupted. SNMG1 ships assisted the Yemeni coast guard in the recovery of their military personnel stationed on the island.
From March 2009 to June 2009 SNMG1 was deployed by NATO off the Somali coast to conduct Operation Allied Protector, to deter, defend and protect World Food Programme (WFP) vessels against the threat of piracy and armed robbery, thereby allowing WFP to fulfill its mission of providing humanitarian aid.
On 23-25 March 2012 the group conducted a passing exercise with Carrier Strike Group Twelve, led by USS Enterprise, while carrying out Operation Active Endeavor missions in the Mediterranean Sea. The group's commander, Commodore Ben Bekkering, Royal Netherlands Navy visited Enterprise. At the time the group consisted of the Royal Netherlands Navy frigate De Ruyter, the Spanish Navy frigate Álvaro de Bazán, the German Navy frigate Rheinland-Pfalz, and the Royal Canadian Navy frigate Charlottetown.
In November 2018, HNoMS Helge Ingstad was operating with SNMG1 when she was involved in a collision with a Maltese flagged tanker and had to be deliberately run aground to prevent her sinking. The remainder of SNMG1 stood by to provide assistance.
As of 18 February 2021, SNMG1 consists of: