The German Sachsen-class frigate FGS Hessen (F221), left, steams in formation with the first-in-class aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) and other coalition warships during a simulated strait transit as the Gerald R. Ford Carrier Strike Group, Oct. 9, 2022. Ford is on its inaugural deployment conducting training and operations alongside NATO Allies and partners to enhance integration for future operations and demonstrate the U.S. Navy’s commitment to a peaceful, stable and conflict free Atlantic region. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Sawyer Connally)

On Tuesday, November 15, 2022 at 10 a.m., the frigate “Hessen” will return to Wilhelmshaven from the Atlantic from the Carrier Strike Group 2022 (CSG).

The frigate “Hessen” left Wilhelmshaven in early September to join the aircraft carrier battle group. There the F124-class frigate trained together with several escort ships from other nations. Operational training and operational cooperation have been the focus of the last few weeks. Within the US-led association, the primary task of the “Hessen” was to protect the association around the aircraft carrier “USS Gerald R. Ford” from possible threats from the air. The Sachsen-class frigates are designed specifically for air defense. With its SMART-L radar, the “Hessen” can, for example, monitor the airspace over the entire North Sea. The F124’s radar is capable of detecting more than 1,000 targets simultaneously.

“With departure for the Carrier Strike Group at the beginning of September, I announced a demanding program for ship and crew, in which we will have to prove our command of our weapon system. The hard months of preparation for this have more than paid off. We are returning with numerous Experience of operating in a (multinational) aircraft carrier association and the unforgettable impressions of having seen an aircraft carrier in action up close,” said the commander, frigate captain Volker Kübsch (43).

“We also return home proud to have been part of the first operational sea voyage of the world’s largest and most modern aircraft carrier, and proud to have fulfilled all the duties assigned to us in the association. Our contribution was highly appreciated and certainly helped to make that happen to further strengthen the reputation of the German Navy as a reliable partner at international level,” the commander continues.

The frigate “Hessen” arrives in its home port with 215 soldiers. After arriving, the crew will first go on a short holiday before starting a three-week operational training course. This is mainly in preparation for integration into a French aircraft carrier battle group, to which the frigate is expected to depart at the end of January.