Van Amstel has just returned to the port of Den Helder. Since 17 April, the frigate has been patrolling the Atlantic, North Sea and Baltic Sea with its NH90 helicopter in a NATO fleet. It was on standby 24/7 for assignments from NATO maritime headquarters in the British United Kingdom. It also participated in large exercises.

Faber observed that Russian fighter jets sometimes came very close. “So close we could see the pilot sitting. This increases the risk of misunderstandings and accidents. The cooperation within the task force in which we sailed was professional. In my opinion, this is a good example of NATO’s motto: stronger together.”

According to Faber, the so-called Standing NATO Maritime Group 1 (SNMG1) showed that it was operationally ready and immediately deployable. “If necessary, we can fight for the interests of the Netherlands and NATO. The exercises ensure that we know how to work together with other units very easily and support each other. We know each other’s procedures and complement each other automatically.”