German Navy tanker to join Operation Atalanta

Germany Navy tanker FGS Spessart will depart Wilhelmshaven, Germany on April 18 to join EUNAVFOR’s Operation Atalanta at the Horn of Africa.

The Rhön-class tanker has just completed a planned harbor phase in Wilhelmshaven.

The works on the ship have been concluded on schedule and the ship will deploy to the mission directly from Wilhelmshaven and not from Kiel, as it is usually the case.

Commanded by Captain Rolf-Heinrich von Bebern, the Spessart will be providing German frigate FGS Bayern and other Atalanta ships with fuel off the Somali coast.

Looking forward to the deployment, Captain von Bebern said: “We are eagerly anticipating the upcoming deployment and the trip to the Horn of Africa. The ship and its crew are well prepared for their future tasks.”

FGS Spessart is scheduled to return to Germany at the end of August, 2016.

Spessart was originally built for civilian service by Kröger of Rendsburg in 1974. On September 5, 1977 she was commissioned into the German Navy.

Back in 2009, the Spessart was attacked by a 7-man pirate boat. According to reports, the other ships deployed to Op Atalanta at the time responded and caught the pirates following a chase which lasted for several hours.