On Friday, November 11, 2022 at 9 a.m., the task force supply ship “Bonn” returned to Heppenser Groden naval base in Wilhelmshaven. After almost six months in action in the Aegean, the crew will first enjoy their vacation before the “Bonn” and her crew prepare for the next sea voyages in the coming year.
“For five months, the task force supply ship (EGV) ‘Bonn’ and its crew were involved in dealing with the refugee crisis in the Aegean sea area in the Standing Nato Maritime Group 2 (SNMG 2) and were thus once again separated from family for a long time, friends and acquaintances,” says the commander, frigate captain Eike Deußen (48). During this operation, the ship was underway with 181 soldiers. “It was therefore important, at least in port, to let some normalcy return and, taking into account the corona situation, to allow the crew the greatest possible freedom of movement and also to go ashore again,” said the commander to maintain the motivation of his crew.
“But now we are all happy to be back home after a total of almost six months at sea,” continues Commander Deussen. The ship has traveled around 33,000 nautical miles during the nearly six-month absence.
“The crew and the ship have now been deployed to the Aegean for the third time in this mission-like commitment, and over the years it has been observed how the neighboring countries have now adapted to the refugee movement in the Aegean,” said Commander Deussen. “The coastguards and naval units of Greece and Turkey, as well as Frontex units, are omnipresent in the area – which means that the response times are short. It’s the same as in 2016 in the first contingent, where you could see inflatable boats and life jackets in the mountains on the beaches no more,” he continues. Like our direct predecessor contingents, the “Bonn” was only able to observe and report very few “crossings”.
The highlight of this tour was the farewell to the frigate “Lübeck” from its last mission.