Together with Belgian frigate BNS Leopold, the Dutch navy ships Evertsen, Johan de Witt, Rotterdam and Van Speijk will take part in a training exercise on the North Sea and near Denmark. In the next three weeks, both navies will prepare for operations in the highest spectrum of violence, such as submarine combat.
The ships sailed out for the exercise named Baltic Breeze on 18 May. HNLMS Friesland will join the fleet a little later because of deployment to the Caribbean in the second half of this year. Therefore, boarding operations are also part of the training programme. In this way, the Navy supports the Coast Guard in the Caribbean region.
Due to the Covid-19 measures, (inter)national exercises had been cancelled or changed since March. In order to be deployable for the safety of the Netherlands and thus to remain trained, units of the Royal Netherlands Navy must, however, continue to sail.
The crews were quarantined before departure. Furthermore, the ships do not visit ports to prevent the coronavirus from gaining a foothold on board.
Picture: HNLMS Friesland (front) en HNLMS Evertsen in November 2019 (by Dutch Government).