Dutch frigate HNLMS Tromp returns to Africa and Operation Atalanta

Operation Atalanta welcomed back Dutch frigate HNLMS Tromp to the EU Naval Force off the coast of Somalia on August 6.

Tromp’s crew departed their home port of Den Helder in the Netherlands on July 20 to join the mission for a second time as the frigate was part of Operation Atalanta back in 2010.

It was during this deployment that Royal Dutch Marines carried out a rescue operation on board the German-flagged merchant vessel, MS Taipan, after it put out a ‘Mayday’ distress call to say that it had been captured by armed pirates.

Operation Atalanta warships have been deployed in the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean since December 2008 as part of the European Union’s commitment to protect World Food Programme (WFP) vessels and merchant ships from pirate attacks.

In a handover ceremony held this morning in Djibouti, the Dutch air defence and command frigate took over the role of Operation Atalanta’s flagship from German frigate, FGS Bayern, which has been deployed in the Indian Ocean and Gulf of Aden for the past 6 months.

With an Enhanced Boarding Element, consisting of Royal Dutch Marines and an NH90 helicopter, HNLMS Tromp is well placed to continue Operation Atalanta’s success in protecting shipping and denying Somali-based pirates the opportunity to attack seafarers.