On 16 July around 08.30LT, HNLMS Groningen will enter the port of Point Blanche (Sint Maarten) for a regular port visit. In accordance with military traditions, the crew will be welcomed at Fort Amsterdam (Divi Resort) with a military ceremony, executed by marines of the Dutch Marines Detachment at Sint Maarten and the Volunteer Corps Sint Maarten. The ship has been present in the region since April but has not visited Sint Maarten yet. Additional to the military ceremony, the Governor of Sint Maarten, His Excellency Eugene Holiday, will also attend the ceremony.
In the Caribbean, the crew primary focuses on counter drug operations. In this way, the Dutch armed forces fulfill their constitutional tasks, such as promoting and maintaining the international legal order and stability in the region. The operations take place in collaboration with partners such as the Dutch Caribbean Coast Guard and the American Joint Interagency Task Force South (JIATF-South).
The Royal Netherlands Navy has 4 patrol ships of the Holland-class. These OPV’s (Ocean-Going Patrol Vessels) are flexibly deployable vessels for monitoring coastal waters. In addition, they can be used for law enforcement such as counter drug operations and humanitarian tasks such as providing emergency aid. This year, the Dutch military forces in the Caribbean already captured 5.300 kilograms of drugs.