Saturday, April 14, 2012

The Dutch To Fight Pirates On Shore

On March 23 the European Union decided to extend operation EU NAVFOR until December 2014. At the same time the AOR has also been extended to include Somali coastal territory and internal waters. 

On April 3 their operation plan has been adjusted accordingly.Soon after that, the Dutch government has decided that they will act according to the new operational plan. The Dutch have wanted this extention for quite some time now.

And to be effective against pirates, the Dutch had also agreed last year to put helicopters on every ship they would send to the Horn of Africa.
Because the NH90 has been delayed and the Westland Lynx' are end-of-life, instead of the frigate HNLMS Tromp, the Dutch will now send HNLMS Rotterdam, a LPD. In 2010 they also sent a LPD and used LCU's and LCVP's to block the Somali coast. But HNLMS Johan de Witt didn't have a helicopter on board. This time the Dutch will be sending 2 Cougars (that have been training for this during excersice Cold Response 2012), along with a Scan Eagle.
And they will send in another submarine. And some extra marines. 
So from September-December the Dutch presence is substantial.

But the kicker.....from September-December the Dutch will be leading a Standing NATO Maritime Group for Operation Ocean shield from their LPD, and the sub is also in the area after a NATO request.

So will the Dutch do what they did when freeing the MV Taipan, and temporarily put their ship under national command (or EU command), so they can tackle those pirates ashore?

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