On 13 September 2017, the Dutch Landing Platform Dock (LPD) HNLMS Rotterdam joined the EU Naval Force operation ATALANTA, aimed to protect vulnerable vessels in the Western Indian Ocean and to deter and disrupt acts of piracy.
HNLMS Rotterdam set sail from her homeport Den Helder on 27 August 17. 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.
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”.