On Saturday, March 19 at 10 a.m., the corvette “Braunschweig” returned from the UNIFIL mission (United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon) under the command of Corvette Captain Pascal Störk (40). The corvette is welcomed by the mayor of the Hanseatic and university city of Rostock, Claus Ruhe Madsen (49).
“The navy has a long and important tradition in the Hanseatic and university city of Rostock. I am very pleased that, with the expansion of the base in Warnemünde, we can also welcome many employees and their families with us. For them, we will, also with the support of the federal government, ensure that they arrive safely here,” says Madsen.
Decorated with the piece of music by Marius Müller-Westernhagen “I’m back here” and a home pennant, the “Braunschweig” and its 60-strong crew will enter the naval base in Warnemünde. The task of the blue helmet soldiers was to monitor the sea area off the Lebanese coast and to prevent possible arms smuggling on site. In addition, she trained the local navy in coastal protection – a permanent secondary task of the Rostock marines.
“If you take into account the two-week quarantine before the start of the mission, we were on the road for 160 days and during the mission we could only stay on our corvette, which is less than 90 meters long. That wasn’t nice for any of us, but we like to go to sea and also have it without going ashore trying to make the best of the situation. My crew spent what little free time they had with sport and simply concentrated on their job, which I’m incredibly proud of,” explains the commander, Lieutenant Commander Störk. “During the entire period we were in contact with more than 200 ships. In this way we contributed to a better picture of the situation on the ground and further strengthened cooperation with other forces involved in the UN mission. Despite the economic crisis in Lebanon, the training of the Lebanese Navy made progress. This enabled it to successfully complete its SAR certification. This means that the training for the search and rescue service ‘Search and Rescue’ will be in the hands of the Lebanese Navy in the future. An important step in the right direction,” the commander continued.
The commander of the 1st Corvette Squadron was also proud. “Even in difficult times in terms of security policy, the ship and crew have successfully completed their mission and reliably hoisted the flag for NATO and the United Nations in the Mediterranean,” said frigate captain Kenneth Harms (42).
The German Navy has been involved in the UN mission in the Mediterranean for more than 15 years and took over the leadership of the mission again last year. The corvette “Braunschweig” served as a platform in the operational area for almost nine months. During this time, the versatile ship covered more than 20,000 nautical miles.