Indo-Pacific Deployment 2021

Germany is showing maritime presence in the Indo-Pacific region with its frigate “Bayern”.

A grey warship at sea.
Bundeswehr/Tom Twardy

Showing presence in support of globally shared values

Frigate “Bayern” will operate in the vast sea area between the Horn of Africa, Australia, and Japan for about half a year, from August 2021 to February 2022. The vessel’s core mission: showing the flag. With the Indo-Pacific Deployment, the Navy underlines its role as a reliable political asset for Germany that can be employed worldwide.

Formally on a training voyage abroad, the “Bayern”s mission is one of diplomacy and security policy. It includes performing joint exercises with Germany’s partners in the region, such as the navies of Australia, Singapore, Japan, and the US. But this voyage is also about demonstrating that Germany will stand by its international partners when it comes to securing the freedom of the sea routes and upholding international law in the region.

This webpage provides you with information on the six-month voyage of frigate „Bayern“, its exercises with allied naval forces, and on naval diplomacy in foreign ports.

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Political background

The Federal Foreign Office and the Federal Ministry of Defence provide detailed information on the foreign and security policy aspects of the Indo-Pacific deployment.

The route of the “Bayern”

During its six-month Indo-Pacific deployment, the frigate is scheduled to call at several ports. The actual route may of course change based on the situation.

A map of the Western Pacific and the Indian Ocean.

Indo-Pacific Deployment 2021: Frequently Asked Questions

Frigate “Bayern” will travel the Indo-Pacific region for about half a year, between August 2021 and February 2022. In this section, the German Navy Press and Information Centre collects frequently asked questions concerning this unusual military sea voyage and provides answers.

For the time being, the voyage of the “Bayern” to this region is a one-time mission. The decision whether or not another naval vessel is to be deployed to the Indo-Pacific will rest with the next federal government, after the German parliamentary elections on 26 September 2021.

Nonetheless, the “Bayern” will gather valuable information in the region for a possible continuation of the Indo-Pacific Deployment. This ranges from collecting details concerning the cooperation with the various partners in the region to updating hydrographic data of the Indian Ocean and the Western Pacific.

The German Navy differentiates between “routine visit”, “informal visit” and “formal visit”. A routine visit is usually only a stay in port for the purpose of refuelling as well as replenishing other stores and supplies. It may also include shore leave for crews to relax, especially on weekends. Special events supporting naval diplomacy are not scheduled and the stay is relatively short. A pure refuelling stop, for example, may only take a few hours.

An informal visit, on the other hand, means that the Navy seeks to use the port visit for promoting closer military exchange with the host country. This may involve visitor groups from friendly navies coming aboard or military leaders from allied nations embarking, meeting for expert talks. The ideal site for such informal visits are foreign naval bases.

The formal visit is the fine art of naval diplomacy. The host country will expressly invite the German Navy to do so. The physical presence of the warship in the foreign port is then tangible proof of the good partnership with Germany, and representatives of the German Federal Foreign Office, such as the respective ambassador, will make use the port visit of the German naval vessel for their purposes. Receptions on board serve for networking and intercultural exchange.

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