Belgian frigate BNS Leopold returns home after four months of operations
The Belgian frigate Leopold I (F930) has docked at her homeport Zeebrugge, Belgium on Saturday, January 23.
The ship departed the naval base on October 5, 2015 to combat human trafficking in the Mediterranean unde Operation Sophia and later escort the French aircraft carrier FS Charles de Gaulle in the Persian Gulf.
The Leopold I has been part of the fleet in the European EUNAVFOR MED operation Sophia for thirty days. During his deployment in the area between Libya, Tunisia and Sicily the ship saved a total of 258 refugees from a damaged fishing boat. On the same boat were four people smuggling suspects who were transferred to the Italian authorities by the crew of the Leopold I.
As of November 18, 2015 frigate Leopold I was escorting the French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle in the Persian Gulf, where it was the first foreign ship to join the French Groupe Aéronaval Chammal. The Leopold I was partly responsible for the immediate protection of the aircraft carrier until January 2, 2016.
Once it left the area of operation, BNS Leopold I sailed for twenty days to reach her homeport in Belgium where the crew will now take a rest.