German frigate and NATO flagship runs aground in Greece
German Navy frigate and current flagship of NATO’s Standing Maritime Group 2 – FGS Brandenburg – ran aground on Monday morning while departing the port of Piraeus, Greece.
The frigate collided with a jetty and sustained considerable damage.
According to German media, FGS Brandenburg damaged her rudder and both propellers and is only partially operational.
Following the accident, FGS Brandenburg was towed to a Hellenic Navy base in the port of Salamis where the extent of damages will be further assessed. It is still not known how long the frigate will remain tied to port.
The lead ship of German Navy’s F123 frigates, FGS Brandenburg was the flagship of SNMG2 and was not supposed to return home before September 2017.
The current mission of the SNMG2 is to monitor and patrol the Aegean Sea off the Turkish coast and to report all migrant boats leaving the Turkish coasts for Europe.
Another goal is an increase in the cooperation between the European border agency Frontex and the maritime authorities of Turkey and Greece. By doing so, NATO hopes to curb the migration flow and smuggling activities in the Aegean Sea.
Brandenburg’s running aground comes just a month after another German Navy ship sustained damages in port. Combat support ship EGV Frankfurt am Main damaged its stern while entering the Wilhelmshaven navy base late in the evening on March 16 and had to cancel all scheduled operations.