April 9, 2020 (Google Translation) – HNLMS Karel Doorman, the world’s only Joint Support Ship (JSS), leaves for the Caribbean on Monday. Defense will send the naval vessel to support civilian authorities in fighting the corona crisis if the situation calls for it. The support and supply vessel is initially deployed for 3 months.
As soon as the Karel Doorman is located in the Caribbean waters, islands can fall back on a versatile and quickly deployable capacity. For example, this concerns transport support so that the islanders receive food. In addition, the navy ship supports the coastguard with maritime border surveillance if desired. The vessel can also serve as a base. For example, landing personnel and equipment quickly 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.
Two Cougar transport helicopters of the Defense Helicopter Command board Karel Doorman along. The devices are available in the Caribbean for medical transport and medical evacuations. The ship has medical teams: 1 with surgical capacity, the other for basic shore care. Drones from the army and navy may provide image building in the area. Marine units are also equipped with vehicles and landing craft on board, so that there is transport capacity in the area. If necessary, an additional marines unit is flown in. The ship even has a hurricane emergency kit with it.
The local authorities of the Caribbean part of the Kingdom have submitted various requests for assistance in recent weeks. In it, Defense was asked to help fight the COVID-19 virus.
Defense currently already supports local units with maritime units, such as maritime border surveillance and maintaining public order. With the proximity of Karel Doorman ensures that Defense quickly provides extra support on site when requested. The station ship Zeeland is already there. This ship is also helping the islands.
France and the United Kingdom also each have a naval vessel in the area. A coordination cell has been set up with these countries in Martinique to cooperate where necessary. For example, the Karel Doorman can supply these ships with fuel.