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Canada Assumes Command of Standing NATO Maritime Group Two SNMG2

Commodore (Cmdre) Matthew Coates of the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) has assumed command of Standing NATO Maritime Group Two (SNMG2) during a Change of Command ceremony held in Toulon, France. Cmdre Coates assumed command from Rear Admiral Yannick Bossu of the French Navy.

His Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Charlottetown is deployed with SNMG2 as part of Operation REASSURANCE and is now the group’s flagship. In coordination with its NATO partners, Canada continually looks for opportunities to contribute to peace and stability in Central and Eastern Europe.

“The appointment of Commodore Matthew Coates to command Standing NATO Maritime Group Two shows the continuing respect our NATO allies have for the professionalism and leadership of the Canadian Armed Forces. Our members are our most visible symbol of Canada’s ongoing commitment to the NATO alliance and to international security and cooperation around the world.”

Vice-Admiral Bob Auchterlonie, Commander, Canadian Joint Operations Command

“I am honoured and humbled to assume command of Standing NATO Maritime Group Two. Assuming command of this task group is an extraordinary privilege and I look forward to the challenge; knowing that together, united by a common purpose and a common set of values and procedures, the Alliance is stronger than the sum of its individual parts.”

Commodore Matthew Coates, Commander, Standing NATO Maritime Group Two



• Since 2014, Canada has deployed RCN frigates on a persistent rotational basis to be employed primarily for exercises and operational tasks in the NATO Maritime Command’s areas of responsibility.

• HMCS Fredericton and HMCS Halifax were flagships of the Canadian-led Command of SNMG1 in 2021. HMCS Toronto was the flagship of the Canadian-led Command of SNMG2 in 2019.

• SNMG2 is one of NATO’s four standing naval maritime immediate reaction forces, which routinely conduct operations in the Mediterranean Sea. These groups provide NATO with a continuous maritime capability for operations and other activities in peacetime and in periods of crisis and conflict. They also help to establish Alliance presence and deterrence, demonstrate solidarity, conduct routine diplomatic visits to different countries, support transformation and NATO interoperability, and provide a variety of military maritime capabilities to ongoing missions.

• SNMG2 is a multinational, integrated maritime force made up of warships from various allied countries. These warships, including their air assets, are permanently available on a rotational basis to NATO to perform different tasks ranging from participating in exercises to intervening in operational missions.

• With Cmdre Coates’ appointment, the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) currently lead two NATO multinational groups. Canada has been the Framework Nation of the NATO Multinational Battlegroup Latvia since its inception in June of 2017, and will continue to do so as the battlegroup is augmented to a brigade. They are part of the largest reinforcement of NATO collective defence in a generation.

• As Canada’s fighting force at sea, the RCN deters conflict, defends Canada’s interests and values, promotes Canada’s economic prosperity, and supports the rules-based international order.

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