Navy blog: HNLMS Evertsen's mission
On 10 May 2012, HNLMS Evertsen set sail for East Africa to serve as NATO flagship for Operation Ocean Shield for a period of 3 months. Ocean Shield aims to combat piracy in the waters of Somalia.
Lieutenant Chris Elings, Leading Rating Nanda Rietveld and Rating Leendert Schaap relate their experiences and work on board the frigate in their blogs.
12 August 2012 l Part 12: Homeward bound!
5 August 2012 l Part 11: Action Gun (by Nanda Rietveld)
31 July 2012 l Part 10: Relief (by Leendert Schaap)
24 July 2012 l Part 9: Anchor watch in the baking heat of Muscat (by Chris Elings)
16 July 2012 l Part 8: 5 weeks left (by Nanda Rietveld)
9 July 2012 | Part 7: Loading food and disposing of garbage in Salalah (by Leendert Schaap)
2 July 2012 | Part 6: Action! (by Chris Elings)
28 June 2012 | Part 5: Almost half way (by Nanda Rietveld)
18 June 2012 l Part 4: A dhow in distress and fresh fish (by Leendert Schaap)
10 June 2012 l Part 3: On our way! (by Chris Elings)
3 June 2012 l Part 2: Nearly in the mission area (by Nanda Rietveld)
27 May 2012 l Part 1: The mission has started (by Leendert Schaap)
By carrying out patrols, the navy vessels of NATO’s Operation Ocean Shield improve the security of sea lanes off the Somali coast and discourage and disrupt piracy at sea in the same area. Between 20,000 and 30,000 ships pass through the Gulf of Aden each year. Pirate groups operate in an area up to almost 750 kilometres off the Somali coast.
In the Gulf of Aden, HNLMS Evertsen also acts as the flagship of the NATO flotilla Standing NATO Maritime Group 1 (SNMG1). On 23 January, RNLN Commodore Ben Bekkering was given command of SNMG1, which is the maritime component of the NATO Response Force, for 1 year. This unit, which is on standby at all times, allows the Alliance to respond quickly and flexibly to security situations.
The Evertsen is one of the 4 air defence and command frigates of the Zeven Provinciën class. She has extensive command control and communication and data facilities. For the current mission, the frigate is manned by a 233-strong crew, including a boarding team of the Marine Corps and a helicopter crew for the on-board Lynx. This will be the last time that this maritime helicopter takes part in the fight against pirates. From September 2012, the tasks of the Lynx will be taken over by the Cougar transport helicopter until the new NH90s are introduced.