2015-03-10 The Dutch Ministry of Defence recently highlighted the role of HNLMS John de Witt in the European counterpiracy mission.
In a piece published on February 3, 2015 on the Dutch MoD website the role of the ship was highlighted:
Since today, Admiral Jonas Haggren of the Royal Swedish Navy is Commander of the EU counterpiracy operation Atalanta.
During a change-of-command ceremony in the port of Djibouti, he took over command from Rear Admiral Guido Rando of the Italian Navy in the presence of a delegation from the Royal Netherlands Navy vessel HNLMS Johan de Witt.
In the coming four months, Haggren and his international staff will lead the mission from HNLMS Johan de Witt.
“During our command, the Netherlands and Sweden will work together in the fight against piracy.
HNLMS Johan de Witt is equipped with multifunctional capabilities and has various options on board for supporting other operations.
That could entail escorting a World Food Programme ship, for example”, remarked Admiral Haggren after assuming command.
This event was discussed earlier in an interview with the Dutch captain aboard the HNLMS John de Witt during Bold Alligator 2014.
Captain Rene Luyckx: The ship was built in 2006. It is built more or less along commercial standards; there is a lot of room for operations. It is a small village.
There is an airport, a garage, a hotel, and a port in effect involved with the ship.
The difference with our ship compared to most ships of its class is that we have a large C2 area.
Question: Where have you operated the ship?
Captain Rene Luyckx : We have been on Exercise African Winds; twice we have operated as the command ship for anti-piracy operations off of Africa; and in the Caribbean as well.
Question: The kind of operations we need to do now require flexible C2.
How have you used it so far?
Captain Rene Luyckx: This ship was the flagship for the EU task force off of Africa.
We will go again in January where Sweden will be in charge but they will operate off of our ship because of our C2 capabilities.
We intend to use the ship for a larger national force but it has become a very effective coalition asset.
And sea basing is crucial for you can operate independently, and provide support logistics aboard the ship rather than having to push them ashore. And we can do C2 for the entire force we might support ashore as well.