Den Helder – Next Monday navy vessel His Majesty (Zr. Ms.) Karel Doorman leaves for the Caribbean from Den Helder. Defense is deploying the vessel to support the civil authorities instantly in the coronavirus crisis if the situation requires this. The vessel is initially deployed for a period of three months.
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 Airforce 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.