On 15 and 16 August the Force Commander of EU Naval Force (EUNAVFOR), Rear Admiral Guido Rando, visited HNLMS De Zeven Provinciën and ESPS Navarra.
The Dutch frigate is currently conducting the last patrol of her 4 months deployment in the EU’s counter-piracy Operation Atalanta, whilst the Spanish Frigate ESPS Navarra will remain in the area of operations until December.
During the visits, the Force Commander met with the Comanding Officers of both, De Zeven Provinciën and Navarra, and their officers and ships company, followed by a brief and a tour of the ship, providing Rear Admiral Rando with an overview of the vessels’ main capabilities.
On board HNLMS De Zeven Provincien RADM Rando attended a Medal Ceremony where he presented the Commanding Officer, Commander Ruud Schoonen, and the Commander of the Maltese Special Duties Enhanced Boarding Team (MSDEBT), Lieutenant Colonel Cardona with the Operation Atalanta medal.
The Force Commander highlighted that “the Maltese Team embarked on HNLMS De Zeven Provincien is an excellent example of cooperation between nations and the European effort for operations at sea.”
To enhance interoperability, it is not unusual for allied armed forces to exchange personnel. The Force Commander would welcome an increase in the exchange of personnel between units deployed with the EU Naval Force to improve mutual understanding of national procedures on board and thus increase effectiveness. To that end, ITS Andrea Doria and ESPS Navarra arranged for a temporary exchange of crew members from both sides.