The website cruisenewser.com reported that the FGS Hessen conducted a small number of exercises onboard a cruise ship a week ago. The German warship is on routine counter-piracy operation with EU Naval Force in the Gulf of Aden.
FGS Hessen has been deployed in the Gulf of Aden since December 2013. The warship will end the mission tomorrow (April 1). Naval ships have been patrolling in the area off the coast of Somalia since the middle of 2012. This have resulted in significant drop of piracy attacks, the last report of a pirated ship in the area dates from May 2012.
The crew of FGS Hessen were very happy to meet a "little piece of home." The commander of the warship, Dirk Jacobus said:
"It is very important that my crew remains fully trained to protect vulnerable ships as they sail through the piracy high risk area and it is common for German ships to interact in some way when they meet each other at sea. We carried out a small number of training exercises with AIDAdiva, which I think was a nice surprise for the passengers. FGS Hessen has been away from home since December 2013 and I saw big smiles on the faces of my crew when they sighted the German cruise liner, as it was like seeing a little piece of home."
The cruise passengers were really excited to see the helicopter of the warship which landed on the deck of AIDADiva and conducted a fast roping. FGS Hessen gave a traditional "sail pas farewell" and wished the passengers a happy and save trip home. Commander Dirk Jacobus added:
"I will remember our meeting for a very long time."