German frigate heads home as US Navy breaks off carrier strike group deployment

German Navy frigate FGS Hessen is en route home after spending six months with the US Navy carrier strike group assembled around aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman.

The F124 air-defense frigate is set to return to its home port in Wilhelmshaven on July 21, as the US Navy decided to return the CSG home after just three months of operations in the US 6th Fleet area of operations.

Hessen first sailed to the US early January for several months of training with Harry S Truman CSG ships and Norwegian frigate HNoMS Roald Amundsen. After three months of preparations, US and German Navy ships deployed to Europe in April.

Hessen was tasked with protecting the aircraft carrier from potential underwater, sea- and air-based threats. Worth noting is the fact that while US Navy ships conducted aerial strikes against ISIS positions as part of the US defense department’s operation Inherent Resolve, the FGS Hessen detached from the group joining NATO operation Sea Guardian instead.

Hessen contributed to NATO’s maritime security operations two times during her deployment with the US Navy ships.

Among the notable exercises the German frigate attended as part of the Harry S. Truman CSG were air warfare evolutions with the French Air Force as part of the French Air Defense Week in the Bay of Biscay.

The German Navy said the frigate sailed some 40,000 nautical miles since the start of its mission in January.

Photo: FGS Hessen sails in formation with aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman. Photo: PIZ Marine