The Support Squadron’s ship’s tenders replenish Flotilla 1 vessels at sea.
With the exception of one tender, the Support Squadron operates all Elbe class supply vessels. The five ship’s tenders supply mine countermeasure vessels at sea, at anchor or in foreign ports with material for daily use such as fuel, water, food, spare parts and ammunition. By doing so, they significantly increase the minehunters’ endurance during operations and manoeuvres.
Furthermore, the tenders can accommodate specialists such as technicians who provide assistance during major repairs, physicians who work in their own sick bay, or staff personnel who need appropriate communications technology to command naval forces. If, for example, a German officer is in command of one of the two NATO mine countermeasures groups, they will usually have their operations centre aboard one of the Support Squadron’s tenders.
The “Main” is an exception among the six Elbe class tenders as it has been converted to specifically support the German submarines. Therefore, it is part of 1 Submarine Squadron.
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