On the Wilhelmshaven naval base of Germany's Bundeswehr the loading of Gepard combat launches on transport vessels began on Friday. The launches will be carried to the shores of Somalia. Five combat launches will operate within a West German naval force. One of the goals set is "the ensurance of shipping security" in the region, where the United States is conducting a military operation against international terrorism. Last Wednesday six Bundeswehr warships under the command of Admiral Gottfried Hoch got underway from Wilhelmshaven. It is in the plans that, once the launches, motor transport means and containers with the required equipment are loaded on the two civilian transport vessels, they will follow the German warships already underway and then join them. In the forward group are 750 officers and sailors.