Photo credit: DelamontagneNL, via Wikipedia, Zeeland’s sistership HNLMS Holland
Putting Law Enforcement Detachments on foreign ships is now relatively routine, but a reader (thanks Gils) has informed me of a new level of cooperation. “HNLMS Zeeland, one the new Dutch (Holland class–Chuck) OPVs, left for the Dutch Caribbean yesterday. They will first go to Key West to pick up a USCG helicopter.“
Additionally he tells me, “On January 11 the Facebook page of the Dutch MoD in the Caribbean & Caribbean Coast Guard (section) posted the following text: Yesterday a formal agreement has been agreed upon between the United States and the Netherlands to station helicopters from the U.S. Coast Guard on Dutch ships engaged in counter-narcotics operations. The ultimate form of cooperation for safety on and from the sea!”
The Holland class
are a new class of relatively large OPVs. At 3,750 tons full load they are sized between the Hamilton class and the Bertholfs. Zeeland was commissioned only last year. Deliveries of new NH90 NATO frigate helicopters to the Netherlands Navy have been delayed, this explains the need for a Coast Guard helicopter.
There have been some interesting developments in the suppression of piracy off Somalia.
China has been remarkably active, and successful, and now they are following the example of the Dutch in sending a well deck equipped amphibious warfare ship (an LPD, in fact the largest surface combatant in their Navy), along with a strong aviation contingent as part of their seventh deployment to the area. In the well deck of the LPD are two boats that look to be comparable in capability to our Long Range Interceptors.
The Dutch are sending a submarine that is recognized as being especially adept at intelligence gathering.
The US is sending a Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) that has been specially trained to deal with pirates.