Netherlands, Germany kick off Karel Doorman cooperation

The Netherlands Navy’s Joint Logistic Support Ship HNLMS Karel Doorman will enter Warnemünde, Germany on March 12 to mark the start of the Dutch-German joint support ship use.

The 204.7-meter ship, biggest in the Dutch Navy, will host mutual exercises between the two countries.

Soldiers of both countries will take part in evacuation and boarding exercises which will take place both on land and at sea.

On February 4, 2016, German and Dutch defence ministers signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) aboard the Karel Doorman which outlined a closer maritime collaboration between the two countries. This LOI, among other things, allows the German Navy to use the HLNMS Karel Doorman for its operations.

The German Navy needs this ship as it does not have significant amphibious capabilities on its own. German soldiers will be trained by their Dutch counterparts on the ship.

Another aspect of the maritime cooperation is the integration of the Seebataillon (marines) of the German navy in the Dutch Royal Navy. The Seebataillon consists of several hundred soldiers constituted by divers, amphibious reconnaissance and mine experts. This German unit will come under Dutch command.

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