Jorn Urbain - The Belgian Navy

Belgian frigate Leopold I able to take part in NATO exercise after all

The Belgian Navy frigate the Leopold I will be able to take part in a large-scale NATO exercise after all. Last week it emerged that the Leopold I would be unable to take part in the exercise as its young crew was insufficiently trained to meet the standard required by NATO. However, since then the crew has undergone an intensive session of additional training and has now reached the level of competence required by NATO for the exercise.

Writing on the social media platform Twitter the Belgian Navy’s Admiral Jan De Beurme expressed his delight that the Leopold I and her crew now be able to take part in the exercise.

“Never had any doubt Leopold I would succeed! Well done Leopold I ship’s team, congratulations and safe trip now!”, Admiral De Beurme wrote. 

As we reported at the end of last week, the Leopold I had been forced to remain in dock at the Dutch port of Den Helder and was unable to take part in the Joint Warrior naval exercise that is being held by NATO. The Belgian Navy said that it was in part the victim of the success of its own recruitment campaign that had meant that it had had to train a large number of new recruits in a relative short space of time. Moreover, the crew of the Leopold I has to be able to to function in two or three different jobs on board the vessel. This means that they need twice to three times the amount of training normally required.  

During the past couple of weeks, the crew has been given extra drills and additional training personnel with a lot of experience was taken on board the ship. This appears to have been successful as the Leopold I will now to able to leave Den Helder to take part in the exercise. 

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