EU operation Atalanta welcomes Dutch amphibious ship HNLMS Rotterdam

HNLMS Rotterdam

Royal Dutch Navy’s landing platform dock HNLMS Rotterdam joined the EU-led counter piracy operation Atalanta off the coast of Somalia on September 13.

HNLMS Rotterdam set sail from her homeport Den Helder on August 27. In addition to the Dutch crew, a Swedish boarding team and two Swedish fast attack crafts (CB-90) are embarked on the ship.

During her transit to the area of operation, sailors and marines from the Netherlands and Sweden conducted a series of drills to ensure they are prepared to respond to acts of piracy and be ready for the upcoming missions.

It is not the first time that the Netherlands and Sweden are highlighting what can be achieved when EU Member States work together. In 2015, the Swedish Force Commander; Rear Admiral Jonas Haggren embarked his battle staff on board HNLMS Johan de Witt.

With the embarked fast assault craft (CB-90), its Cougar helicopter and its role 2 medical capabilities, HNLMS Rotterdam will provide great presence and support to the EU NAVFOR Force Commander, whose mission is to deter and disrupt pirate activities and to ensure that freedom of navigation is restored.

HNLMS Rotterdam (L800) with FRISC and Cougars.

Captain Harold Liebregs, commanding officer of HNLMS Rotterdam said of the upcoming mission: “We are ready for Atalanta and looking forward to cooperate with EU NAVFOR and other actors in the region to protect shipping near the Horn of Africa from piracy.”


5 thoughts on “EU operation Atalanta welcomes Dutch amphibious ship HNLMS Rotterdam”

  1. Maybe I am being overly sensitive given the environment at the moment but I get fired up when I hear foreign news sites use phrases like ” what can be achieved when EU member states work together”. It just feels like there is a conspiracy to dilute European countries’ sense of individuality in place of the United States of Europe. Brexit has only accelerated their agenda now with Juncker admitting that the EU will now demand all members adopt the Euro as part of an effort to prevent anyone else leaving. It also feels that statements like the one I mentioned in this context further plants the seeds for a EU Army.

    1. I agree mate. Something occurred to me today. Junker wants every EU state to adopt ‘European Union Values’, he wants to absorb Albania, Montenegro, Serbia and Ukraine into the EU. He will presumably then pull all EU countries out of NATO and concurrently form an EU army.

      Russia won’t stand for this because it vehemently, and I mean VEHEMENTLY believes in the ‘One Slavic Nation’.

      People scoff when Article 5 is mentioned. But one thing is for certain. If Russia set foot on Lithuanian soil (for example) and shot a single NATO troop, there is a real possibility of a large-scale war involving Russia and the United States.

      If NATO doesn’t exist and an EU army exists in it’s place, it will no longer have that US ‘umbrella’. If Russia rolled into Ukraine to ‘liberate’ it, and shot some Franco-German EU troops, the US would say ‘This isn’t our business anymore’, ‘No more US blood will be spilt in a European war’. There is a big lobby in the USA supporting this.

      Also, Junker expects all EU nations to pay into the EU army. I suppose he will dragoon nations that can’t afford it into paying up, further putting them in debt with the Deutshe Bank. The EU cant afford it, but you can bet your bottom dollar he will (or his successor will) get the money which will go to Thyssen Krupp, Rheinmetall, Krauss-Maffei, Dassault Aviation et al.

      1. If he did dissolve NATO then the EU Army will have some serious investment in acquisition and defence research. European forces rely on the US for some key equipment and roles such as the EA-18G Growler. I honestly think the 2% GDP with NATO will be chump change.

        The real question is what would an EU defence alliance do for a nuclear deterrence. With the UK out that only leaves France with a legitimate nuclear deterrent but it will have to be declared to Europe not France. I’m sure the French people will love that! If Russia really does take a strong stance against the new “U.S.E.” then they will need to expand this nuclear force despite anti-nuclear sentiments on the continent.

        It’s a worrying prospect

      2. It is. And the nuclear issue that you raised is an interesting political conundrum, given Germany’s anti-nuclear stance. They won’t even arm their Leopard 2s with nuclear-tipped AP rounds.

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