On Monday, April 13, the Navy vessel Zr.Ms. Karel Doorman will depart for the Caribbean from its home base in Den Helder. The Ministry of Defense is deploying the ship to provide support during the corona crisis. The plan is, that she will stay for three months, but that could be extended.
Zr.Ms. Karel Doorman
With the presence of the logistic support vessel the islands can, apart from the already available station vessel His Majesty Zeeland, rely on a versatile capacity that can be deployed fast. His Majesty (Zr. Ms.) Karel Doorman can offer transport support to guarantee, for instance, the food certainty. In addition, the navy vessel can support the Coast Guard in the maritime border control and it can serve as an operational base during the support of the public order by quickly putting staff and equipment ashore. Finally, the vessel also disposes of medical facilities to support the local healthcare in non-COVID-19 related emergency care.
In recent weeks, the local authorities of the Caribbean part of the Kingdom have submitted various requests for assistance in the prevention of the coronavirus to Defence. At the moment Defence is already supporting among other the maritime border control and the enforcement of the public order with local units. With the vicinity of His Majesty (Zr. Ms.) Karel Doorman, Defence ensures that additional support is quickly available on location, if so requested.
His Majesty (Zr. Ms.) Karel Doorman is, apart from its own capacities as a transport and supply vessel, strengthened with 2 Cougar helicopters of the Air force for medical transport and medical evacuations, a medical team with surgical capacity, a medical team for basic care ashore and drones of the Army and Navy for image composition. Moreover, navy units with vehicles and landing crafts are included for transport. If so required, an additional navy unit can be flown in. The vessel also brings along a hurricane emergency package.
France and the United Kingdom also have a navy vessel in the area. A coordination cell was set up with these countries on Martinique to cooperate, where required. For instance, the Karel Doorman can provide these vessels with fuel.