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Somalia: Dutch and Spanish EU Naval Force Warships Conduct Helicopter Exercise

European Union Naval Force Somalia
Press release
Friday, March 29, 2013

On the morning of 27 March, the helicopter of Dutch EU Naval Force warship HNLMS De Ruyter landed on the flight deck of the Spanish EU Naval Force vessel ESPS Rayo, becoming the first helicopter from another Operation Atalanta unit to land on the Spanish warship.

This helicopter landing occurred as the two ships conducted a 'Cross-Deck' exercise, utilizing the new NH-90 type helicopter - known as "Fiber" - embarked on board HNLMS De Ruyter. This type of exercise seeks to increase interoperability among naval forces within the Operation Atalanta Task Force.

The NH90 is a multi-purpose, next generation, medium size helicopter, built by NH Industries, a company established by Eurocopter, Agusta and Stork Fokker Aerospace. The NH90 is designed to operate in adverse weather conditions, both day and night and in its naval version can carry out anti-submarine and anti-surface missions.

The Dutch helicopter conducted a total of six landings on the flight deck of ESPS Rayo for pilot qualification purposes. Following this, they conducted a VERTREP (Vertical Replenishment) which entailed the transporting of one member of the Dutch helicopter's crew from the Rayo to the De Ruyter. Finally, as a farewell, "Fiber" conducted a pass down the starboard side of ESPS Rayo on her flight back to HNLMS De Ruyter.


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