HC Deb 27 November 2002 vol 395 c329W
Mr. Gerald Howarth

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what UK operations and training exercises HMNLS Rotterdam has participated in the past two years; and which British personnel were embarked on the ship. [82212]

Mr. Ingram

The United Kingdom/Netherlands Amphibious Group, formed 29 years ago, enjoys a unique, close and historic working relationship in NATO and the European Amphibious Initiative, and regularly shares assets and a unified command.

In the past two years HNLMS ROTTERDAM has participated in the routine training deployments ARGONAUT 00 and ARGONAUT 02 which took place between mid-September to late-November 2000 and early-September to early- November 2002 respectively. HNLMS ROTTERDAM'S participation in the former was curtailed when she was called to undertake national tasking. For completeness, HNLMS ROTTERDAM has also participated in the following NATO exercises with UK involvement and/or where UK personnel have been embarked on the ship: a. NATO exercise DESTINED GLORY 01 during which 845 Squadron (five x Sea King Mk4 and some 70 squadron personnel) embarked during the period October to November 2001 to provide lift for the Royal Netherlands Marine Corps (RNLMC) b. NATO exercise DESTINED GLORY 02, the main focus of the ARGONAUT 02 deployment. During the exercise, and in his NATO role, Commander United Kingdom Netherlands Amphibious Group (COMUKNLPHIBGRU), a RN Commodore, together with 173 UK personnel (constituting 34 per cent. of the ship's company) and four Sea King Mk4 from 845 Squadron providing lift for the RNLMC, embarked in ROTTERDAM between September to November 2002

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