France, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom coordinate in the Caribbean

(B2) France, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom have (finally) decided to "unite their efforts" in the Caribbean in the face of the coronavirus and the coming hurricanes

The Karel Doorman leaving the port of Den Helder for Saint Martin on April 9 (credit: Dutch Navy)

The news was announced today by the French Ministry of the Armed Forces. The Dutch had already done it a good two weeks ago (April 9)…

A coordinated military response

For the three countries, it is a matter of providing a " coordinated military response » in support of civilians in the management of the coronavirus epidemic which also affects overseas territories, but also to help ensure the maintenance of order (a concern especially on the Dutch side) and to prepare for the season hurricanes starting in six weeks (British concern).

Half a dozen ships on site

The three countries have, in fact, several resources on site: the helicopter carrier (or BPC) Dixmude, on the French side; the helicopter carrier RFA Argus and the HMS Medway, UK side; the HNLMS Karel Doorman and  HNLMS Zeeland (based in Curacao), Dutch side. The goal is to " optimize national military contributions " and " bring more agility and flexibility in responding to the spread of the virus across the Caribbean”.

Coordination established in Fort de France

A regional joint military coordination cell has been established in Fort de France, Martinique. It is directly inspired by lessons learned » of the coordination of the interventions during the hurricane Irma in 2017, which had taken some time to give birth (read: Caribbean. French, Dutch and British join forces. Finally !). It is also based on discussions held within the European Intervention Initiative (EI2).

(Nicolas Gros-Verheyde)

Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).