German tanker Spessart joins NATO’s SNMG1

German Navy’s Rhön-class tanker FGS Spessart will join NATO’s standing maritime group 1 (SNMG1) this month.

The 130-meter ship is scheduled to depart its homeport in the naval base Kiel on January 11.

The ship is expected to join other SNMG1 units on January 13 in Oslo, Norway.

A change of flagship ceremony during which the Spanish frigate Almirante Juan de Borbón will be relieved by the Danish frigate Roald Amundsen will take place two days before Spessart’s arrival in Oslo.

Prior to this mission, Spessart was part of the EU-led operation Atalanta from which the ship returned in August last year after 88 days of deployment.

The crew of the Spessart is ready for their deployment. “We are looking forward to the upcoming maneuvers and are ready to contribute to the group,” Captain Rolf-Heinrich von Bebern said.

Spessart’s primary task will be to replenish other ships in the group with fresh water and fuel. The German tanker is expected to return to Kiel by the end of May 2017.

NATO’s SNMG1 is one of four multinational, integrated maritime forces composed of vessels from various allied countries. SNMG1 is responsible for the control and protection of North Atlantic and North Sea routes.