German F123 frigate FGS Bayern joining NATO’s SNMG2 in Aegean Sea

German Navy’s Brandenburg-class frigate FGS Bayern is scheduled to get underway from her homeport of Wilhelmsaven on March 7 to start a six-month deployment to the Aegean Sea.

During their time in the Aegean Sea, the frigate and her crew will operate as part of the Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 (SNMG 2).

FGS Bayern is replacing another German Navy ship, the combat support ship EGV Frankfurt am Main which has been part of SNMG2 since October 2017. Frankfurt am Main is set to return to Wilhelmsaven at the end of March.

Once she takes over from Frankfurt am Main, FGS Bayern will become one of six German Navy units on deployment, according to the navy. The frigate last deployed in 2016 as part of the EU counter-piracy operation Atalanta. Bayern will return home at the end of August.

The task of SNMG2 in the Aegean Sea is to monitor and patrol the region and report all migrant boats leaving the Turkish coasts for Europe.

Another goal of the operation 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.