Brunssum, The Netherlands – On Thursday 8 September 2022, Commander Allied Maritime Command (COM MARCOM), Vice Admiral Keith Blount Royal Navy, visited Allied Joint Force Command Brunssum (JFCBS).
The main purpose of this visit was to maintain and develop the already close relationship between the two headquarters and to discuss the how this should evolve with the changing security context. Under NATO’s new Strategic Concept, agreed at the Madrid Summit after Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine, the Alliance is strengthening its ability to deter aggression and defend every inch of Alliance territory.
This includes the maritime domain, where NATO warships maintain a round-the-clock maritime capability, performing a wide range of tasks in both peace and conflict.
Based in Northwood, United Kingdom, MARCOM is the primary headquarters responsible for maritime forces assigned to NATO. These forces include two Standing NATO Maritime Groups (SNMGs) made up of frigates and destroyers, and two Mine Countermeasures groups (SNMCMGs). Half of this force is usually located in Northern Europe, so close coordination is required with HQ JFCBS, the Operational Commander for the Northern European region.
The Standing Maritime Groups also form part of the maritime component of the NATO Response Force, and would be some of the first maritime units to respond to a crisis situation. These units regularly train and operate with Allies and Partners to increase interoperability, readiness and cohesion for the Alliance.