HNLMS Van Speijk and BNS Leopold I Host EU Force Commander
Between 6 – 7 September, the EU Force Commander, Rear Admiral Guido Rando took the opportunity to embark HNLMS Van Speijk and BNS Leopold I.
Both frigates recently joined the EU Naval Force to conduct EU counter-piracy operations and they will remain in the area of operations off the coast of Somalia until early December.
Rear Admiral Rando embarked HNLMS Van Speijk by seaboat. During the visit he was given a tour of the Royal Netherlands Navy warship and was introduced to key members of the ship’s company, including the medical and boarding teams and aircrew who fly the NH-90 helicopter.
Rear Admiral Rando then transferred to BNS Leopold I via the Belgian Navy warship’s Alouette III helicopter, where he was also given a tour of the ship.
Both warships are multi-purpose Karel Doorman frigates.
At the end of his visit, Rear Admiral Rando stated: “You have arrived at an important time. The South West monsoon in the Indian Ocean is ending and the improving weather conditions will make it easier for pirates to get out to sea. We need to remain vigilant to this threat and our surveillance needs to be at its highest. There is a lot of hard work ahead, but during my visit today you have shown me that you are ready for the challenges that the coming months will bring.”