German Navy frigate Augsburg to join operation Sophia

The German Navy’s frigate Augsburg (F213) will set sail for the Mediterranean Sea next week to participate in the EUNAVFOR MED operation Sophia. 

The Bremen-class ship is scheduled to depart its Wilhelmshaven homeport on Monday, September 17.

Following an extensive training program, Augsburg is to replace the navy’s tender Mosel which joined the EU-led operation in April this year.

Commenting on the upcoming four-month deployment, frigate captain Mathias Rix said that Augsburg will contribute to the disruption of weapons and human smuggling as well as trafficking networks.

Germany has been a member of EUNAVFOR MED operation Sophia since June 2015. The mission core mandate is to undertake systematic efforts to identify, capture and dispose of vessels and enabling assets used or suspected of being used by migrant smugglers or traffickers, in order to contribute to wider EU efforts to disrupt the business model of human smuggling and trafficking networks in the Southern Central Mediterranean and prevent the further loss of life at sea.

In 2016, the operation Sophia’s mandate was extended by adding two supporting tasks — training of the Libyan coastguards and navy as well as contributing to the implementation of the UN arms embargo on the high seas off the coast of Libya.