European Union Naval Force Somalia
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
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.