By Mar-Vic Cagurangan
The German navy’s frigate “Bayern” is arriving on Guam today as part of its six-month deployment linked to Berlin's mission to take part in keeping order in the Indo-Pacific region perturbed by geopolitical tension.
According to a reliable source, the 230-crewmember Bayern will moor at 12:30 p.m. and will stay in Guam until Oct. 22.
Based on a map published by the German armed forces, Guam is among the 12 ports in the region where the frigate is scheduled to stop during its six-month deployment. Other port stops include Djibouti, Karachi, Diego Garcia, Perth, Guam, Tokyo and Shanghai.
According to the Marine Traffic website, Bayern departed from Melekeok, PW on Oct. 16.
The ship, which set sail from the port of Wilhelmshaven on Aug. 3, traverses the South China Sea, a hotspot of disputed Chinese territorial claims.
“The Indo-Pacific is where the international order of the future will be decided. We want to help shape it and to take on responsibility for upholding the rules‑based international order," Germany's Federal Foreign Service said in an Aug. 2 statement announcing the ship's departure.
The German government said part of Bayern's mission is to help monitor the UN sanctions against North Korea
"The aim of these sanctions is to induce North Korea to abandon its nuclear and missile program," the German government said.
"The UN Security Council tightened the sanctions further in 2017, expanding them to cover shipments of oil and refined petroleum products. The Bayern will carry out sea surveillance to prevent these sanctions from being circumvented by cargo transfers on the high seas."
Bayern was planned to stop over in a Chinese port as it passed through the South China Sea but German officials said Beijing rejected the request "after a period of reflection."