German Navy’s F123 frigate Mecklenburg-Vorpommern joined the European-led operation Sophia by taking over command of deployed German units from the German tender Werra in the Italian port of Augusta, Sicily, September 14.
German soldiers and sailors participating in the Mediterranean Sea mission will now be under the command of frigate captain Christian Schultze, FGS Mecklenburg-Vorpommern commander.
The frigate left its homeport on August 16 and will now work with the Werra to curb people smuggling activities off the Libyan coast.
Mecklenburg-Vorpommern has taken the place of minehunter Datteln which was deployed to operation Sophia since June 2016 and is now on its way home.
Germany constantly has two ships deployed to the mission which has been running since June 2015. Other ships currently working with EUNAVFOR MED include the Italian aircraft carrier Giuseppe Garibaldi which is also the flagship of the group, British multi-purpose ship HMS Enterprise, Royal Navy destroyer HMS Diamond and Spanish frigate ESPS Reina Sofia.
Three maritime reconnaissance planes from Luxembourg, France and Spain are also part of the mission.