On Monday 16 June, the Force Commander of EU Naval Force, Rear Admiral Jürgen zur Mühlen, met the officers and ship’s company of HNLMS De Zeven Provinciën at sea for the first time since the Dutch frigate joined the EU Naval Force.
The German and the Dutch frigates met whilst both were conducting counter-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden. During the meeting crew from both ships used the opportunity to get to know their counterparts. With the help of the embarked Dutch NH90 helicopter, representatives of the medical, marine engineering and weapon engineering departments of the HNLMS De Zeven Provinciën visited the FGS Brandenburg. At the same time Rear Admiral zur Mühlen and members of his communication, intelligence and operational departments were greeted on board HNLMS De Zeven Provinciën.
In particular the Force Commander was able to meet with the crew members who were slightly injured during the terrorist attack in Djibouti three weeks ago.
“It was a very valuable visit that served to increase mutual understanding and team spirit within the EU Naval Force. I want to thank the crew for their enthusiastic approach to our counter-piracy operation” Rear Admiral zur Mühlen stated after the meeting.
The crew of HNLMS De Zeven Provinciën appreciated the visit of the Force Commander and his staff. Commanding officer Commander Ruud Schoonen: “Although only lasting a couple of hours, the meeting at sea was very beneficial for my ship’s company to exchange information and experiences.”
Press Release, June 25, 2014; Image: EU NAVFOR