July 1, 2020 (Google Translation) – On Thursday, July 2, 2020 at 4 p.m., the “Rhön” fuel transporter returns to the Wilhelmshaven naval base. It ended at the beginning of March for the SNMG 1 (Standing NATO Maritime Group 1).
The NATO association essentially consisted of a Norwegian flagship, a Danish frigate and the tanker “Rhön” of the German Navy. The main task of the “Rhön” was the refueling as well as the supply of fresh water and oils of the other ships of the SNMG 1. By implementing protective measures against the COVID-19 virus, the crews of the ships of the association were faced with challenging tasks. For example, port visits were canceled or relocated and the port visits were only carried out as so-called logistic stops, without going ashore. The biggest challenge for the majority of the crew was the fact that they had not had to go ashore for 117 days and had to spend the entire time on board.
“It was a very unusual SNMG 1 mission this year. The mission was shaped by the corona pandemic. The outstanding performance shown by the crew during the entire deployment period, as well as the understanding of the special circumstances of the operation, make me proud. I feel for the crew received the highest recognition and deep respect, “said the commander, captain Egon Rhauderwiek (57) over the past few months.
There was a little highlight during the last few days at sea. As part of the training support, not only was the frigate “Brandenburg” “ge-RAS-t” (Replenishment at Sea), but it was also the first time that a maritime supply maneuver was carried out with a class 125 frigate, the “North Rhine-Westphalia” . Thus, the crew of the “Rhön” during this year’s mission with the frigates “Lübeck”, “Brandenburg”, “Hamburg” and “North Rhine-Westphalia” was able to greet all German frigate classes still in service alongside for supplies at sea.