Ambassador Ammon Visits the FGS Hessen as it Enters Baltimore Harbor for War of 1812 Commemoration
Enlarge image Ambassador Peter Ammon talks with the Chief of Staff of the German Task Group 2012, Commander Thorsten Geldmacher. (© Germany.info)
An out of the ordinary visitor landed on the FGS Hessen around midday on Thursday, June 13. German Ambassador Peter Ammon did not want to miss the opportunity to accompany the German navy frigate on its last nautical miles into the Baltimore harbor, where it was taking part as a German guest in the parade of ships, part of the commemorations of the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812.
Together with his wife, Deputy Chief of Mission Jens Hanefeld and Defense Attaché at the German Embassy Rear Adm. Karl-Wilhelm Bollow, Ambassador Ammon landed on the flight deck of the Hessen with a US Navy Seahawk helicopter. There he was greeted with military ceremony by the Commander of the German Task Group 2012 (EAV 2012), Navy Captain Christoph Müller-Meinhard.
Enlarge image Navy Captain Christoph Müller-Meinhard with DCM Jens Hanefeld and Defense Attaché Rear Adm. Karl-Wilhelm Bollow (© Germany.info) After a short drive up the Chesapeake Bay and an impressive salute by historic gun crews on shore, the Hessen docked at Fort McHenry, a national historic monument and the place that inspired the writing of the US national anthem during the Battle of Baltimore in 1814.
Ambassador Ammon was briefed by Navy Captain Müller-Meinhard on the duties of the Task Group and the capabilities of the air defense ship. He was very impressed by the professionalism of the crew under Commander Thorsten Marx.
Enlarge image Navy Captain Christoph Müller-Meinhard bids farewell to Ambassador Ammon on the bridge of the FGS Hessen. (© Germany.info) Besides the FGS Hessen, the German Task Group 2012 consists of the supply ship FGS Frankfurt am Main and the FGS Emden. After stops in Halifax, Norfolk and now Baltimore, the latter two ships will return to their home ports at the end of June, while the Hessen travels on to Boston before returning to Wilhelmshaven.
The core assignment of the Task Group is to provide the operational reserve for the German navy. Beyond that the ships provide training for approximately 190 officer candidates.