Naval Visits for the year 2023 started from February –
Saturday 4th to Tuesday 7th February
The First Naval Ship was the Italian Navy Gaeta Class Minehunter ITS VIAREGGIO M 5559 that entered at 0924 hrs. She was seen for the first time in Malta back to 2001 when she was only 5 years old.
She was berthed at Pinto 3 wharf, starboard side alongside and left a day earlier due to strong wind conditions.
Sunday 5th to Tuesday 7th February
The Italian Navy Cassiopeia Class offshore patrol vessel (OPV) ITS VEGA P 404 entered Valletta at 0045 hrs coming from the Mediterranean Sea Deployment.
Unfortunately the Maltese Maritime Flag was hoisted on her mast instead of the courtesy flag.
She was berthed at Pinto 3 wharf, port side alongside and left a day earlier due to strong wind conditions.
Friday 10th to Monday 13th February
3 Italian Navy units that were due for Malta CANCELLED their diplomatic visit due to Storm Helios.
Monday 13th to Wednesday 15th February
The first of two Ivorian Navy OPV 45 offshore patrol vessel FACI ESPERANCE P 2202 entered Valletta at 0753 hrs during her maiden call and delivery voyage. Her last port of call was Haifa, Israel since she was built at Israeli Shipyards (was seen twice by MSPAP, first one from the Air during sea trials).
She was berthed at DWQ 2, port side to the wharf and left at 0927 hrs bound to Algeria.
Thursday 16th to Tuesday 21st February
The fifth US Navy Spearhead Class Expeditionary Fast Transport High Speed Craft USNS TRENTON T-EPF 5 built by Austal, USA was seen again at Malta coming from Bari, Italy entering at 0956 hrs.
She was berthed at Pinto 2 wharf, port side to the wharf and left at 1035 hrs bound to Augusta, Sicily.
Friday 17th to Tuesday 21st February
The French Navy Aquitaine Class Frigate (FREMM) FS ALSACE D 656 based at Toulon, France entered Valletta on her maiden call.
She was commissioned on 16th April, 2021 and was seen at Valletta without pennant number on both sides. She was berthed at Pinto 3 Wharf, starboard side alongside and upon completion of berthing the Zeta Energy bunkering tanker BAWA-1 started uplifting bunkers.
In the afternoon of Monday 20th her NH90NFH Helicopter performed engine runs on her helideck.
She left at 1347 hrs.
Sunday 19th to Thursday 23rd February
The Fifth US Navy Pathfinder Class Oceanographic Ship operated by the Military Sealift Command, USNS BRUCE C.HEEZEN T-AGS 64 was seen again at Malta coming from Catania, Sicily entering at 0746 hrs and berthed at DWQ 2, starboard side alongside.
She left in the afternoon of Thursday 23rd at 1535 hrs assisted by 2 local tugs SEA SALVOR and SPINOLA.
Sunday 19th to Thursday 23rd February
The Spanish Navy Galicia Class Landing Ship ESPS GALICIA L 51 was seen again at Malta coming from Antalya, Turkey after being deployed for humanitarian aid due to the Turkey Earthquake, entering at 0907 hrs.
She was last here back in 2005 , also on a humanitarian aid deployment and was berthed at Boiler Wharf, starboard Side to the wharf and left at 1026 hrs bound to Cartagena, Spain arriving in the afternoon of Wednesday 1st March.
Sunday 19th to Wednesday 22nd February
The Royal Netherlands Navy Frigate HNLMS DE ZEVEN PROVINCIEN F 802 lead ship of her class was seen again at Malta entering at 1037 hrs coming from Den Helder, Netherlands and was due to berth at MMH Facilities. Around 1107 hrs Valletta VTS advised pilot onboard to stop to her current position (She was infront of DWQ 1) and await instructions from the Valletta VTS Operations.
An hour later a VTS Duty Officer advised the harbour pilot to berth the frigate at Parlatorio Wharf North but the pilot insisted that she goes to berth at Pinto 1 Wharf (Commanding Officer wish). After several VHF exchanges VTS Duty Officer replied that if the CO don’t object regarding several issues including that on Wednesday 22 nd , her berth has to be vacant by 0500 hrs due to a planned 323 metre cruise liner, she can berth at Pinto 1 and 2 wharves close to USNS TRENTON. Tugs were ready from assisting her at 1315 hrs.
She left harbour as planned at at 0614 hrs she passed breakwaters and starting drifting 3-5 nautical miles off Grand Harbour (OGH) awaiting a crewboat to embark 6 personnel that were arraigned and fined for setting off hand held smoke flares during an international friendly football match between the Austria vs Netherlands women’s teams of which the Dutch won 4-NIL with the Naval Personnel believed that were celebrating the result.
Monday 20th to Tuesday 21st February
The Italian Coast Guard (Guardia Costiera) multipurpose offshore patrol vessel CP 920 BRUNO GREGORETTI was seen again at Malta coming from the Mediterranean Sea entering at 0855 hrs berthing at St.Angelo Wharf , part of Grand Harbour Marina (GHM).
With her last call back in 2015 there’s a difference especially to the Fast Rescue Craft (FRC) area.
She left at 1849 hrs without pilot.