June 11, 2021 (Google Translation) – On Saturday, June 12th 2021, the submarine “U 35”, which belongs to the 1st submarine squadron, will leave its home port Eckernförde at around 11 am and set off on a Mediterranean route to take part in the EU operation “Irini”. The boat and its crew are bid farewell to the four-month mission by the commander of the squadron, Frigate Captain Frédéric Strauch (44). Around 50 members of the crew will also be present.
Under the command of Corvette Captain Oliver Brux (34), the 29-person crew of the boat will go into warmer waters for a little over four months. The maximum capacity of 36 people is fully utilized by additionally embarking some students from the squadron, who use this opportunity for intensive training in on-board operations. “After the long and exhausting preparation for the mission, there is great anticipation within the crew for the upcoming mission. It is both a reward and a burden. Both the crew and the families at home will be challenged to the same extent. Only together is it possible To deal with a long absence of over four months with the necessary composure, “said the commander with a view to the long and long journey to the mission.
The boat will be on its way to the deployment area for around three weeks, including a supply stop in Rota, Spain. The operational area extends in the central and southern Mediterranean south of the island of Sicily to the territorial waters of Libya and Tunisia. Operation “Irini” of the European Union is tasked with monitoring and enforcing the arms embargo against Libya, but also disrupting smuggling activities on the refugee routes in the Mediterranean. “U 35” will be based on several ports in Italy and on the island of Malta. In addition, a longer stay in port with the possibility of family reunification on the Greek island of Crete is planned around the middle of the mission.
The boat and crew are expected back in the home port of Eckernförde in mid-October. The long way home will again be interrupted by a supply stop, then in the Portuguese capital Lisbon.
After the foreign ministers of the European Union had agreed on February 17, 2020 to monitor the UN arms embargo against Libya, the EU Council decided on Operation “Irini” a month later.
The European Union is stepping up its efforts to enforce the United Nations arms embargo against Libya and is thus contributing to the peace process in the country by launching a new military operation under the Common Security and Defense Policy (CSDP) in the Mediterranean region. “Irini” (modern Greek for “the peaceable”) has the implementation of the UN arms embargo through aircraft, satellites and ships as its core mission. This includes discovering, stopping and searching weapons smuggling into Libya, suspected ships in the area of operation (UN Security Council Resolution 2292 ).
The mission is also responsible for monitoring and collecting information on illegal exports of oil, crude oil and refined petroleum products from Libya. The European Union Naval Forces Mediterranean (EUNAVFOR MED) supports the capacity building of the Libyan Coast Guard / Navy and the training of law enforcement tasks at sea. Operation “Irini” also contributes to the disruption of the business model of people smuggling and trafficking by collecting information and passing it on to the responsible law enforcement authorities of the EU member states.
The operational area of ”Irini” extends to the high seas outside the coastal seas of Libya and Tunisia, south of Sicily, within the region of the central and southern Mediterranean. In addition, there is the airspace over these areas as well as adjacent sea areas, which are used for the diversion and handover of ships to a European port. This does not apply to Malta and the surrounding sea area within 15 nautical miles. The operational area is roughly the size of the Federal Republic of Germany.