The crews of the German Navy’s Gepard-class fast attack vessels ‘Hermelin’, ‘Zobel’ and ‘Frettchen’ started their final SQUADEX on February 29 before they bid farewell to their ships at the end of the year.
The Squadron exercise of the 7th Fast Patrol Boat Squadron takes place two times a year. In the following four weeks, sailors will be conducting a program packed with exercises.
Apart from the navigational drills, such as man-over-board exercises and formation sailing, the SQUADEX will incorporate air-defence exercises, sea- and air target practice as well as defending against asymmetrical threats such as piracy or terrorism.
The three fast attack vessels will, together with the German tender Elbe, return to their homeport in Warnemünde, Germany, March 24.
After the SQUADEX, the ships are set to take part in the multi-national exercise Baltops and the Kiel Week, which is often dubbed as the largest sailing event in the world.
The decommissioning ceremony for the four ships is scheduled for November 16, 2016 in Warnemünde.
A total of ten ships of the Gepard-class were introduced to the German Navy between 1982 and 1984. Only four are still in service and are the last attack vessels in the German Navy.