On Friday, February 18, 2022 at 4 p.m., the frigate “Bayern” will return from the Indo-Pacific after a successful presence and training voyage. The crew of around 180 covered about 43,000 nautical miles with their ship. With the deployment of the “Bavaria” in the Indo-Pacific, the German Navy was able to fly the flag and demonstrate on the spot that Germany is standing on the side of its international partners for the freedom of the sea routes and compliance with international law in the region.
The commander, frigate captain Tilo Kalski (46), and his crew were on the road for about seven months. Her route took her past the Horn of Africa to Australia, Japan, South Korea, Vietnam and Singapore. Most recently, the frigate “Bayern” moored in Haifa (Israel). The “Bayern” was the first German warship to be sent to the region in almost two decades. The German Navy supported the strategic goals of the federal government, in particular with a maritime presence in the region and intensive cooperation in joint exercises and training with partner armed forces.
“The consistently successful execution of this voyage, which was characterized by operational, but also diplomatic aspects, is to be thanked for the crew of this ship,” concludes Commander Kalski. The commander of the second flotilla, Flotilla Admiral Axel Schulz (51), adds: “The frigate ‘Bayern’ has been sent to one of the most strategically important regions in the world, because the freedom and prosperity there also have an impact on us here in Germany. My thanks applies to everyone who has contributed to this success! Because it is by no means a matter of course that a ship can go to sea for months in continuous operation without any technical problems worth mentioning.”
But the voyage of the frigate “Bayern” was also a success from an operational point of view. “In addition to the port visits in the Southeast Asian region, which is exotic for us, operational parts of the trip should also be highlighted as unique experiences. For example, taking part in the ‘Annual Exercise’ led by Japan with over 20 other units from Japan, the USA, Canada and New Zealand was a plus maneuver that was unique for us,” the commander recalls. During the route, the ship also took part in the NATO operation “Sea Guardian” in the Mediterranean and the European mission “Atalanta” in the Horn of Africa. In addition, the “Bayern” made an important contribution as the first German unit to monitor the UN sanctions against North Korea.
After the long period of absence, the crew will first go on their well-deserved vacation and enjoy the time with their relatives before the next sea trips are scheduled in the course of the year.
Today the Indo-Pacific is the most strategically important region on earth. Important decisions about freedom, peace and prosperity in the world are made here. The goals of the Indo-Pacific guidelines, which the federal government published on September 2, 2020, are to intensify international cooperation, support local partners and maintain the rules-based maritime order. With the Indo-Pacific Deployment, IPD for short, the Navy is demonstrating that it is a reliable political instrument for Germany that can be used worldwide.
A mandate from the German Bundestag is not required for presence and training trips by warships of the German Navy according to the Parliamentary Participation Act.
The ship and its crew have completed both a diplomatic and security mission. This also included practicing with German partners in the region: for example the navies of Australia, Japan, Canada, New Zealand and the USA.