Detecting, deterring and, if necessary, destroying ships. But also air defense, mine countermeasures and amphibious operations. All maritime aspects were discussed during Baltops 23 in recent weeks. The NATO training with the participation of His Majesty’s ships Van Amstel, Makkum and Vlaardingen ended today.

Being able to respond quickly to all kinds of unexpected situations. That was one of the objectives in the Baltic Sea. A total of 6,000 soldiers, 50 ships and 45 aircraft from 21 countries were there.

The Dutch ships had important tasks. For example, the Van Amstel had to protect an exclusive zone. Anti-submarine warfare was the main goal. “We observed other ships here, just like we do in the North Sea,” says commander Captain-Lieutenant-at-Sea Wilco Faber. “That’s how we tried to keep the area safe.” According to him, the NH90 attack helicopter on board was indispensable. “It has very good sensors with which we can see both above and below water. In the scenario, we trained with a Swedish submarine,” faber said.