Dutch military security teams which will be travelling on board merchant vessels will be using the port of Singapore as their base, for instance for the storage of weapons and ammunition. On behalf of Minister Hillen, the Commander of the Royal Netherlands Navy, Vice Admiral Matthieu Borsboom signed an agreement to that effect in Singapore on 29 February 2012.
In addition to the naval ships operating off the coast of Somalia, the government decided last year to deploy security teams consisting of heavily armed marines. These Vessel Protection Detachments (VPDs) protect vulnerable merchant vessels. The Netherlands has been actively involved in counterpiracy operations since 2008.