HNLMS Rotterdam Heads for Counterpiracy Operation Ocean Shield

HNLMS Rotterdam Heads for Counterpiracy Operation Ocean Shield

HNLMS Rotterdam, the amphibious transport ship, left Den Helder to take part in the counterpiracy operation Ocean Shield.

Once in Somali waters, the 320-strong crew will be joined by the staff of the NATO squadron, led by Dutch Commodore Ben Bekkering. Commodore Bekkering has overall command of the operation and is based on the air defence and command frigate HNLMS Evertsen.


The 166 metre-long Landing Platform Dock (LPD) has enough room to take on board extra units and materiel from all Services. Especially for this deployment, two Cougars from Defence Helicopter Command have been stationed on the ship as on-board helicopters.

Scan Eagle

The army will gather intelligence by using the Scan Eagle, an unmanned aerial reconnaissance vehicle. The army also provided medical personnel for the on-board hospital. The Rotterdam will also be equipped with a hydrographic-meteorological unit, interpreters and eight small vessels, including four FRISCs (very fast motorboats).


The FRISCs are used by Marine Corps teams specially trained for proactive counterpiracy actions such as boarding suspect vessels, coastal patrols and overpowering pirates.

Naval Today Staff, July 19, 2012; Image: Defensie