On 23 December, two EU Naval Force (EU NAVFOR) warships, FGS Hessen and ESPS Tornado, conducted a Vertical Replenishment (VERTREP) which is a transfer of items from one ship to another by the use of a helicopter.
The replenishment took place amid counter-piracy deployment of the warships to the Gulf of Aden. Both ships joined the the Operation Atalanta early December 2013.
Lynx Helicopter from FGS Hessen was in charge of bringing the goods to the crews. The transfer proved as an excellent opportunity for the ships to transfer some Christmas gifts. The replenishment was also a perfect opportunity to conduct some fast roping training using the helicopter from FGS Hessen.
FGS Hessen, a German Sachsen Class frigate, was sailing southwards in order to conduct Focused Counter Piracy Operations off the East Coast of Somalia whilst its Spanish counterpart, ESPS Tornado, was heading northwards towards the Gulf of Aden before calling at Djibouti in a few days.
FGS Hessen, a multi-purpose frigate, is primarily in charge of force command and force air defence, fully capable of conducting counter piracy operations.
Aside to her patrolling role, the German frigate has also been engaged in friendly approaches with local seafarers in order to gain better understanding of their concerns and the pattern of life at sea.
On the other hand, for ESPS Tornado, this is the first time that the ship has taken part in the EU Naval Force to fight piracy, as part of the 15th rotation of Operation Atalanta. Its sister ships of the Meteoro class have all participated in Atalanta, the last one being ESPS Meteoro.
Naval Today Staff, December 30, 2013; Image: EUNAVFOR