Deployment of the Belgian frigate Leopold I has been postponed. The vessel was to join the permanent fleet of the NATO SNMG1 (Standing Nato Maritime Group 1), but as the vessel has a young crew, it lacks the necessary experience. The crew is now undergoing intensive training to achieve the necessary standards.

Military ships are highly sophisticated platforms on which the crew must be able to operate in the most diverse situations. Each crew member must, in addition to his main task, also be able to perform various other tasks, such as those of firefighter, nurse or gunner. This means practising various skills in order to be able to act confidently, both towards colleagues and towards the entire platform.

‘Before we let a ship go on a mission, the Naval Command wants to be sure that it can proceed in complete safety. We do not compromise on safety,’ explains Divisional Admiral Jan De Beurme, Commander of the Belgian Naval Component.

Training will continue until the ship reaches the required safety level. Only then will the Belgian Navy decide to give the Leopold I the green light to join the permanent fleet of the NATO SNMG1. Training is to take another week, with the frigate to join the SNMG 1 fleet next week.

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