Home Europe Dutch Navy ships deploy to join new US aircraft carrier’s maiden deployment

Dutch Navy ships deploy to join new US aircraft carrier’s maiden deployment

Dutch join USS Gerald R. Ford
Photo: Royal Netherlands Navy

A Dutch frigate duo has gotten underway from Den Helder for a trip to the United States and Canada where they will be joining the newest US Navy aircraft carrier on its maiden deployment.

Multi-purpose frigate HNLMS Van Amstel and air-defense frigate HNLMS De Zeven Provinciën set sail on Sunday, and will spend the next two months on operations.

They will be joining ships from eight other nations for maneuvers with USS Gerald R. Ford, the most expensive warship ever built. Other nations will include Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Spain, and Sweden.

German air-defense frigate FGS Hessen left its homeport in September to join the aircraft carrier off the US east coast.

Referred to as Atlantic Archer 2022 by the Dutch defense ministry, the deployment will see the ships hone skills in defending against attacks by aircraft and missiles. Tracking, deterring and possibly destroying enemy submarines are also part of the exercises.

Logistics support vessel HNLMS Karel Doorman and patrol ship HNLMS Groningen are also expected to make an appearance in North American waters next month.

USS Gerald R. Ford's maiden deployment
USS Gerald R. Ford’s (CVN 78) flight deck as the ship steams through the Atlantic Ocean, April 13, 2022. Photo: US Navy

USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) began its first operational deployment on October 4, getting underway from Naval Station Norfolk. The deployment will be a short one for the carrier, and will see it complete a set of maneuvers with allies. A real, “global” operation is expected to take place in 2023.

“USS Gerald R. Ford is going to sail on the high seas with our partners,” said Capt. Paul Lanzilotta, Ford’s commanding officer. “We want interoperability, we want interchangeability with our partners. Our NATO partners that are sailing with us – we’re going to work with them every day, every night. That’s what it means to operate on the high seas. Air defense exercises. Long-range maritime strike. We’re going to be doing pretty much every mission set that’s in the portfolio for naval aviation, and we’re excited about that.”

The deployment will involve approximately 9,000 personnel from nine nations, 20 ships and 60 aircraft.