Royal Netherlands Navy multi-function support ship HNLMS Karel Doorman (A833) has left for the Dutch Caribbean on April 13 to support the civilian authorities in fighting the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) crisis.
The ship will assist in the transport of food for the islanders. In addition, the ship supports the coastguard with maritime border surveillance if desired. The vessel can also serve as a base for the quick landing of personnel and equipment to support the local authorities in maintaining public order. The Doorman also has medical facilities to support the local health care in non-COVID-related emergency care.
Vanmorgen vertrok https://t.co/JJ5CCX3Kc5. Karel Doorman voor 3 maanden naar het Caribisch gebied in de strijd tegen het coronavirus met @korpsmariniers @Kon_Luchtmacht en @landmacht. #CaribSupport #COVID19 #KoninklijkeMarine @Marechaussee #DOSCO @Defensie pic.twitter.com/FKtOCTCWn4
— Koninklijke Marine (@kon_marine) April 13, 2020
The vessel is embarking two Eurocopter AS532 Cougar transport helicopters of the Defense Helicopter Command. The helicopters are available in the Caribbean for medical transport and evacuations. The ship has medical teams: 1 with surgical capacity, the other for basic shore care. D
The marine units onboard the vessel are also equipped with vehicles and landing craft so that there is transport capacity in the area. If necessary, an additional marines unit can be flown in. The ship even has a hurricane emergency kit with it.
The Netherlands currently already supports local units with maritime units, such as maritime border surveillance and maintaining public order. With the proximity of Zr.Ms. (HNLMS) Karel Doorman ensures that Defense quickly provides extra support on-site when requested. The station ship HNLMS Zeeland (P841) is already in the region. This ship is also offering aid to the islands.
France and the United Kingdom also each have naval vessels in the area. A coordination cell has been set up with these countries in Martinique (a French Department) to cooperate where necessary. Karel Doorman can also supply these ships with fuel.