After spending almost five months operating with the EU’s counter-piracy Operation Atalanta off Somalia, German frigate FGS Niedersachsen is heading home.
During its time with Operation Atalanta, FGS Niedersachsen sailed a total of 26,000 nautical miles and conducted daily counter piracy patrols to help keep the waters off the Somali coast safer for seafarers. The ship also performed 31 friendly approaches with local seafarers to help build a better understanding of their lives at sea. In early November FGS Niedersachsen also prevented suspect pirates fom going to sea.
During their journey home, the ship will pass through the Suez Canal, and after a short stop in Barcelona, the men and women on board are looking forward to returning home on Friday 20 December to their home port of Wilhelmshaven.
FGS Niederschsen has been replaced in Operation Atalanta by another German frigate, FGS Hessen. As they reflected on their time with Operation Atalanta, the Niedersachsen crew wanted to thank their families for the great support given from home. They also wished their comrades on board FGS Hessen a successful mission and “fair winds and following seas“.
Press Release, December 10, 2013; Image: EU Navfor