The UK Navy has taken command of Standing Nato Maritime Group 2 (SNMG2) to promote security and stability across the Mediterranean region.

The SNMG2 is a multinational, integrated maritime force of five ships from Greece, Italy, Turkey, the UK and the US.

The Royal Navy Commodore Steve Chick, onboard HMS Cornwall, has taken SNMG2 responsibility from the commander Rear Admiral Giovanni Gumiero, Italian Navy, at the Nato facility in Souda Bay harbour on the Greek island of Crete.

The UK Navy will play a crucial role in the ongoing Nato Operation Active Endeavour in the Mediterranean Sea to fight the spread of international terrorism and to enhance the security of shipping.

The new command indicates a change in tactics as the group gears up for an outward passage through the Suez Canal to conduct anti-piracy operations off the Horn of Africa.

The UK Navy last had command of SNMG2 eight years ago. The command rotates annually around the participating nations.