German tanker Rhön concludes NATO SNMG1 mission

German Navy tanker FGS Rhön is scheduled to return to its homeport in Wilhelmshaven on December 12, concluding a four-month deployment to the Mediterranean and North Sea.

The ship spent four months with NATO’s Standing Maritime Group 1 (SNMG1), supplying the warships with fuel and fresh water and occasionally serving as a training platform for the group’s boarding teams.

This deployment was a special one for the ship and crew as the oiler celebrated 40 years of service with the German Navy on September 23. Rhön is part of the German Navy’s replenishment squadron in the Wilhelmshaven navy base and is operated mostly by a civilian crew and commanded by a civilian captain.

“It was a good deployment, which also concludes shortly before Christmas,” said captain Egon Rhauderwiek, who has been the ship’s commander since 2008.

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 but can also be tasked to operate in other regions, as was the in the summer of 2017 when the group operated in the Mediterranean Sea.