Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 (SNMG2) is a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) standing maritime immediate reaction force. SNMG2 consists of four to six destroyers and frigates. Its role is to provide NATO with an immediate operational response capability. The Royal Navy is a regular contributor of warships to this force, in 2022 for example the offshore patrol vessel HMS Trent served with the force from February to March and the Type 45 destroyer HMS Diamond served with the force from March until April. The unit is usually based in the Mediterranean, but also provides ships for anti-piracy missions in the Gulf of Aden. Today we are looking at a fob worn by some officers attached to this maritime group. It is made of leather with a slit at the top to be attached to a button, the badge itself is mounted below and has the initials above the compass emblem of NATO, waves at the bottom emphasise the maritime role of the unit:
On the rear of the fob are four metal pins and fasteners to allow the badge to be pinned to clothing:
This maritime posting is clearly seen by the Royal Navy as being an important one and in March of this year the service reported HMS Diamond’s deployment in detail:
Destroyer HMS Diamond has carried out air-defence training and patrols in the eastern Mediterranean after joining a NATO task group.
The Portsmouth-based ship is currently part of Standing NATO Maritime Group 2, which provides security to and is ready to respond to threats in the region.
She has been working alongside ships and personnel from allies such as Italy, Spain, Turkey, Canada, Romania and Greece in her primary role as an air-defence destroyer.
Diamond sailed from Portsmouth last month and after enduring heavy seas in the Bay of Biscay, entered the Mediterranean Sea where she continued east through the Straits of Messina (between mainland Italy and Sicily).
After a quick port stop in Augusta, she joined up with the task group’s other units which sit under the command of Admiral Mauro Panebianco on flagship ITS Carlo Margottini.
Diamond’s ship’s company have been put through their paces since leaving the UK, continuously training across all aspects of life at sea, including firefighting and damage control, first aid and machinery drills.
Her sailors have also practised working in a task group with replenishment-at-sea (RAS), close manoeuvring, helicopter operations and other aspects of war fighting.
The ship’s embarked Wildcat from 815 Squadron, based at RNAS Yeovilton, has also been kept busy with their aircrew and maintenance deck team completing a host of day and night flying serials.
The helicopter also adds extra fire power to Diamond’s weaponry and the wider task group with the addition of Martlet lightweight missiles.
HMS Diamond’s Commanding Officer, Commander Peter Barfoot, said: “I am extremely proud of my team on board HMS Diamond for rising to the challenge when confronted by what has been a very short notice change to the ships programme, they have really stepped up to the mark.
“The transition from a scheduled maintenance period, post our extended ‘out of area’ operations as part of the UK’s Carrier Strike Group (CSG21) deployment last year, to deploy on operations has been achieved in record time.
“Our integration as part of the NATO task group in the eastern Mediterranean has enhanced overall air defence capability, while supporting the NATO Alliance and allies to bolster maritime operations.”
Coincidentally enough, I was in a coffee shop and noticed the main photo on the front page of today’s paper someone was reading showed two RCN ships, HMCS Summerside and Kingston, returning from NATO duties, I believe they were both STANAGLANT but I didn’t read the article myself, one may well have been in this group.