Frigate “Brandenburg” sets course for Lebanon

Caption: The frigate "F 215 Brandenburg" at sea. (© German Navy)

Maritime surveillance and combating smuggling in a tense situation: the German frigate “Brandenburg” is leaving for a mission in the eastern Mediterranean the day after tomorrow.

On Thursday, the frigate will leave its home port of Wilhelmshaven to take part in the UN mission UNIFIL (United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon) off the Lebanese coast[ds_preview].

Under the command of frigate captain Andreas Scheiba, the crew will support maritime surveillance and training of the Lebanese navy off the Lebanese coast until mid-July 2024.

Frigate leaves with 203 soldiers

Given the recent developments in the region, the general conditions are not easy. “The ship and crew have been preparing intensively over the past few months for the mission ahead of us,” says the commander. “However, we must not delude ourselves, the sea area to which we are deploying is characterised by crises and tensions. The situation there is volatile,” says Scheiba.

The ship is leaving with a crew of 203 soldiers and replaces the frigate “Baden-Württemberg”. It was the first ship of the F125 class to have its first “hot deployment” and is now being removed from the UNIFIL mission in order to prepare for the Indo-Pacific Deployment 2024.

The UNIFIL mission

Blue helmets from the UNIFIL mission have been working for peace between Lebanon and Israel since 1978, making the mission one of the oldest peacekeeping operations of the United Nations (UN). The initial task was to monitor the desired ceasefire and the withdrawal of Israeli security forces from Lebanon. After the Second Lebanon War in 2006, the mandate was extended. Since then, UNIFIL has supported the Lebanese government in securing the maritime borders and preventing weapons smuggling by sea.

The UNIFIL maritime task force was the first naval unit under the leadership of the United Nations – German ships and boats have been operating in this unit from the very beginning. The Lebanese Navy has received valuable equipment from Germany, including guard boats and coastal radar stations.

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