Germany deploys tender, minehunter to Mediterranean Sea

German Navy tender ‘Werra’ and the minehunter ‘Datteln’ will depart their homebase in Kiel on June 20 to join the EU NAVFOR mission of saving lives and apprehending smugglers in the Mediterranean Sea.

Werra, commanded by Corvette Captain Mirko Preuß and Datteln, commanded by Corvette Captain Björn Fischer, will first sail for Augusta, Italy, where they will relieve the frigate FGS Karlsruhe and the combat support ship EGV Frankfurt am Main on Juli 1.

Once they arrive in Italy, the ships will embark a 12-man Finnish Marine team under a cooperation which started late 2015 and is to be continued until December 2016.

The tender’s crew is familiar with Operation Sophia as the ship spent four months with the mission in 2015. The upcoming deployment is also scheduled to last some four months, the ship is expected to return home in November.

Minehunter Datteln, however, will spend considerably more time deployed to the mission. The initial crew will go home after four months and a new crew will jump in to operate the ship.