FGS Werra Leads NATO Support Mission in the Aegean Sea

April 19, 2020 (Google Translation) – The tender “Werra” is the flagship of the NATO support mission in the Aegean Sea. The main tasks of the embarked multinational staff around Commander Captain Thomas Hacken are to create a comprehensive picture of the situation and to monitor the sea area.

The tasks of the tender and the units of the NATO sub-unit in the Aegean are diverse. This includes: Situation analysis and information exchange in cooperation with the Greek and Turkish coast guards, the European border protection authorities, NATO and the national agencies in Germany. The aim is to prevent smuggling activities in the operational area. In addition, the tender offers the other units of the sub-association logistical support at sea. It also serves as a platform for representative purposes.

On the lead ship, the embarked multinational staff headed by Commander Kapitän zur See Hacken coordinates the patrolling units in the operational area. A special feature of the Tender Class 404 is its ability to expand modularly with sea containers. In addition to the actual storage room, the tender offers additional fully equipped sea containers for staff work. This facilitates the division of tasks between the crew and the staff. The staff is also supported by the bridge staff and the radio room. While the bridge watch officers hold daily operations briefings in order to present the situation in the operational area, the radio room provides the on-board communication and telecommunication systems and supports the creation and forwarding of telex messages.

On the bridge: the crew gathers for an operations briefing every day. Photos by Ricardo Rosendo Patricio.

How exactly can you imagine the work on board? First of all, the commander of the permanent maritime unit 2 of NATO defines the operational orientation of the NATO sub-unit in his basic documents. He uses the mandatory reports that the staff on board the tender draws up to ensure that his specifications are being adhered to.

The implementation of these guidelines is then the responsibility of the embarked commander of the sub-unit in cooperation with the staff and the units subordinate to him. The staff is divided into six departments. Division N1 is responsible for personnel matters, while Division N2 takes care of military communications. He has an overview of foreign and his own military units in the sea area at all times. The main order is being processed by area N3. This is responsible for the operational planning and the situation report. This includes coordinating the units of the NATO sub-unit in the operational area as well as ensuring the flow of information between the individual units and the higher-level German and NATO agencies.

But that’s not all: Division N4 is responsible for the logistical support of the sub-association. The department N5 is led in personal union by the area N3, here the future course of operations is planned. Division N6, on the other hand, is responsible for management support. Management support includes information technology and telecommunications. Area N6 ensures that all technical equipment on the staff is working properly.

The work of the staff is coordinated by the chief of staff under the leadership of the commander, Captain Thomas Hacken. A Greek and a Turkish liaison officer complete the staff and ensure a better and faster exchange of information. In addition, the liaison officers have detailed knowledge of the location and the sea area and can overcome language barriers in advance. The working language of the staff is English.

A competent team is available for dental care.

A ship’s doctor is on board in order to ensure the health of the crew during the time in the Aegean Sea and thus maintain command. He is in charge of the medical section on board the tender, consisting of a paramedic and a paramedic NCO. In addition, the ship’s doctor leads the annual medical training for the on-board crew and carries out further training for the medical staff. In addition, a group of dentists, consisting of a dentist and a dental assistant, is embarked as a staff share. In addition to routine controls, your main focus is on acute dental treatments. The “Werra” tender with its motivated crew proves its leadership role every day.

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