HNLMS Karel Doorman will take part in European Operation Aspides in the Red Sea from early May to mid-August. The logistics support ship will be deployed for supply, refuelling capacity and medical care. Units taking part in the US-led Operation Prosperity Guardian can also call on it. Both operations aim to promote security and free passage in the area.

Shipping in the southern Red Sea and Gulf of Aden has long been threatened by Houthi attacks. Since November 2023, Houthis have been regularly targeting commercial and naval vessels with missiles and drones. Recently, this has included fatalities.

Dutch Minister of Defence Kajsa Ollongren: ‘The participation of HNLMS Karel Doorman in the EU operation in the Red Sea makes an additional contribution to the international rule of law and the protection of shipping on this important European trade route.’

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For its task, HNLMS Karel Doorman is equipped with a so-called Role-2 medical facility. This means that life-saving surgical procedures can be performed. After initial treatment on board, patients can be transported to a hospital. For such medical evacuations, the ship has a Cougar transport helicopter.

The logistics support ship operates outside high-risk areas. Should it nevertheless be necessary to sail in this area, it receives guidance and protection from other naval vessels.

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Currently, HNLMS Tromp is taking part in Operation Prosperity Guardian. It is also providing support to Aspides. The air defence and command frigate has been deployed to fight Houthi missiles and drones. The Netherlands further provides staff officers to several missions aimed at promoting maritime security in the Red Sea.

Picture: HNLMS Karel Doorman (by Dutch Ministry of Defence).

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