Department of National Defence

Department of National Defence

January 26, 2007 16:46 ET

Canada Hands Over Senior NATO Command

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Jan. 26, 2007) - Earlier today, a senior Canadian naval officer, Commodore Denis Rouleau, handed over command of Standing NATO Maritime Group 1 (SNMG 1) to his American successor, Rear-Admiral Michael Mahon, during a change of command ceremony held in Halifax, N.S.

As commander of SNMG 1 for the past year, Commodore Rouleau led a multinational fleet of ships from several NATO alliance nations - including participation from both Her Majesty's Canadian Ship (HMCS) Athabaskan and Iroquois - in operations and exercises over a wide area stretching from Norway to western Africa and from Egypt to Canada. Under Commodore Rouleau's leadership, the fleet also conducted anti-terrorism operations in the Mediterranean Sea.

"Commodore Rouleau's command of SNMG 1 validated Canada's naval expertise at the helm of a multinational maritime task group and confirmed our firm commitment to NATO and the global campaign against terrorism," said General Rick Hillier, Chief of the Defence Staff. "Under Commodore Rouleau's watchful command, SNMG 1 made a meaningful contribution to international peace and security and proved itself to be a vital naval force."

SNMG 1 is a permanent naval squadron made up of destroyers and frigates from NATO member countries that trains and operates in the North Atlantic Ocean, and the North and Mediterranean Seas. As a standing NATO maritime capability, SNMG 1 can respond to a variety of contingencies including non-combatant evacuations, embargo operations, and anti-terrorism activities.


Commodore Rouleau's biography is available at:

For more information on SNMG 1 visit:

Photos of SNMG 1 are available at:

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