On Friday, February 11, 2022 at 10 a.m., the frigate “Schleswig-Holstein” will return to its home port of Wilhelmshaven after an absence of 179 days. The F123-class frigate was part of the Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 (SNMG 2) in the Aegean and participated in maritime surveillance.
“During the four and a half months in the theater of operations, my crew made their contribution to overcoming the refugee and migration crisis. In close cooperation with the Greek and Turkish authorities and the EU border protection agency Frontex, we made a significant contribution to protecting the EU’s external borders,” reports the Commander, Frigate Captain Andreas Mückusch (44).
“At the same time, the ongoing corona pandemic brought with it considerable restrictions for us. Hardly any shore leave and, above all, no opportunity to see our families in the meantime, made life on board and far from home even more difficult. And yet – or perhaps because of it – we lived and we experienced a very special camaraderie at sea. Christmas at sea and New Year’s Eve in Piraeus are just two examples of special moments. Nevertheless, the joy of finally seeing our families and friends back home is of course huge,” explains the commander.
As part of the SNMG 2, the “Schleswig-Holstein” also took part in numerous exercises, including firing exercises with torpedoes and missiles of the short-range defense weapon RAM (Rolling Airframe Missile). “As part of our affiliation with the spearhead of NATO (NATO Response Force), we have demonstrated our ability in multidimensional combat at sea in many exercises with allied navies. My crew represented Germany excellently and underlined Germany’s reliability in the international environment. I am happy to be the commander of this great crew. We can all be proud of what we have achieved”, the commander of the frigate sums up.
After returning, the almost 200-strong crew will be on their well-deserved vacation. In the further course of the year, the “Schleswig-Holstein” will take part in further exercises.