German tanker joins Op Atalanta off the coast of Somalia

German Navy’s tanker support ship, FGS Spessart, joined Operation Atalanta on May 11, as part of Germany’s contribution to the EU’s efforts to deter and disrupt piracy off the coast of Somalia.

The ship departed the Wilhelmshaven base and set sail for the Horn of Africa on April 15, 2016.

Under the command of Captain Rolf-Heinrich von Bebern, FGS Spessart is equipped to provide fuelling support to both Operation Atalanta ships and other international forces conducting counter-piracy operations in the region.

The Captain commented: “We are well-prepared for our upcoming tasks and look forward to deploying with Operation Atalanta and working with our German flagship, FGS Bayern, Spanish warship ESPS Tornado and Italian warship ITS Euro.”

FGS Spessart is expected to complete its Atalanta stint and return to Germany by the end of August 2016.

Spessart was originally built for the shipping company Terkildsen & Olsen by Kröger of Rendsburg in 1974. However, the ship was quickly put up for sale and was commissioned into the German Navy on September 5, 1977.