Coronavirus response: France, the Netherlands and the UK send navy ships to the Caribbean

France, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom have decided to join efforts in dealing with the COVID-19 crisis currently affecting their overseas territories.

In order to help relieve local populations, they decided to bring a coordinated military answer in support of civilian crisis management tools.

French, British and Dutch armed forces are deploying military assets in the Caribbean to support their local authorities.

As a result, French amphibious assault ship PHA Dixmude, British primary casualty receiving ship RFA Argus and Dutch multi-function support ship for amphibious operations HNLMS Karel Doorman have been sent to the Caribbean.

As informed, the cooperation will be operated by a regional military joint coordination cell which will be located in Fort de France. Its mission will be to optimize national military contributions to support states’ action. This mechanism is expected to provide more agility and flexibility in the response to the spread of the virus throughout the Caribbean.

“Inspired by lessons drawn from their military cooperation during Hurricane Irma in 2017, as well as discussions in EI2 format, the three nations intend to benefit from this experience by better coordinating their actions in a spirit of mutual support and European solidarity,” the UK’s Ministry of Defense (MOD) said.

Photo: RFA ARGUS sailing away from the coast of Montserrat in the Caribbean. Photo: Royal Navy