Commodore Josée Kurtz of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) officially assumed command of Standing NATO Maritime Group Two (SNMG2) during a change of command ceremony held in Souda Bay on the Greek island of Crete on Saturday, June 15.
Commodore Kurtz assumed command from Commodore Boudewijn Boots of the Royal Netherlands Navy.
“It is an honour and privilege to take command of Standing NATO Maritime Group Two. Over the next six months, I look forward to working with the highly trained and professional sailors from NATO member nations as we take on the challenges of this mission and work together to strengthen global and regional stability,” stated Commodore Josée Kurtz, Commander Standing NATO Maritime Group Two in a press release.
This commitment to multinational naval leadership follows Canada’s recent command of Combined Task Force 150 from December 2018 to April 2019.
This deployment is part of Operation REASSURANCE and Canada’s contribution to NATO regional maritime security operations and assurance measures in the Mediterranean region and the Black Sea.
“The appointment of Commodore Josée Kurtz to lead this NATO Maritime Group is a demonstration of the Canadian Armed Forces’ professionalism, leadership and a strong commitment to NATO and our Allies. Our members are a visible symbol of Canada’s commitment to international security and cooperation in the region and around the world,” says Lieutenant-General Mike Rouleau, Commander, Canadian Joint Operations Command.
With Commodore Kurtz’s appointment, Canada is currently leading three NATO efforts globally.
Since June 2017, the CAF has led a robust multinational rotational NATO Battle Group in Latvia as one of four Framework Nations formed as part of the Alliance’s enhanced Forward Presence in the Baltic countries and Poland.
Since November 2018, Canada has also led NATO Mission Iraq (NMI), which aims to create the conditions for more effective and sustainable Iraqi security institutions and structures.
The press release noted that Canada continues to answer the call to serve and contribute to international peace and security. As a founding member of NATO, Canada has demonstrated leadership and will continue to do so under our defence policy, Strong, Secure, Engaged.