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U.S. thanks Dutch Navy for aid in aftermath Hurricane Katrina

Assistant Secretary of Defense visits frigate

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

DEN HELDER, the Netherlands – They rapidly switched from uneventful routine coastal patrols to emergency aid for the severely hit victims of Hurricane Katrina. Upon its return home to Den Helder, the crew of Dutch frigate ‘Hr. Ms. Van Amstel’ was lavishly praised by not one, but two governments.

U.S. Assistant Secretary of Defense, Peter C.W. Flory, expressed his government’s appreciation to the crew for providing all kinds of immediate assistance to the town of Biloxi, Mississippi, which was severely damaged by Hurricane Katrina.

At the welcome home ceremony, the crew of the Van Amstel also was praised by Dutch Junior Minister of Defense Van der Knaap, who was joined by Flory and other dignitaries. The frigate’s 187-member crew, together with logistics and search and rescue specialists and two teams of helicopters provided much-needed help in Biloxi. The ship had been operating off the U.S. coast as part of the international anti-drug force where it intercepted a drug running vessel. The Van Amstel had just completed its patrol mission when the hurricane struck Louisiana and Mississippi. It then was decided to divert the frigate, to provide Biloxi with clean drinking water and food, and help repair some of the infrastructure so roads could be used to supply the area from Mississippi’s interior.