Dutch-Russian meeting at sea
On 17 June, HNLMS De Zeven Provinciën made an unplanned rendezvous with 2 Russian navy ships, the cruiser Admiral Levchenko and the tanker Olekma. All three ships were on their way to the Gulf of Aden to participate in counter-piracy operations.
The Russian ships will form part of a Russian task group operating off the coast of East Africa. HNLMS De Zeven Provinciën will, as part of the Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 (SNMG2) flotilla, contribute to NATO mission Ocean Shield.
Commodore Michiel Hijmans, who as of 30 June will assume command of SNMG2 for a period of one year, paid a visit to the squadron commander of the Russian task group and the commander of the Admiral Levchenko.
“This was an excellent chance to become acquainted with the squadron commander of the Russian counter-piracy task group before the operation begins,” said Hijmans. During their meeting on board, the possibility of future cooperation in the mission area was discussed at length.
Coordination with other military units also operating in the area, such as ships under the flag of EU operation Atalanta or the multinational Combined Task Force 151, is an important aspect of operation Ocean Shield.
HNLMS De Zeven Provinciën will be SNMG2's flagship as of 30 June. Aboard the flagship is an international staff tasked with directing the NATO squadron.