Warships, sailors, and Marines from the Netherlands, Mexico, and Canada were among those foreign navies playing an early and important role during multinational Hurricane Katrina rescue efforts in September. The Dutch Karel Doorman-class frigate Van Amstel, shown right anchored near the Mississippi coast, diverted from counter-drug operations off Aruba while the Mexican tank landing ship Papaloapan, along with Canadian warships Athabaskan, Toronto, Ville De Quebec, and Canadian Coast Guard craft Sir William Alexander moved quickly into position to aid those hardest hit by the hurricane. Medical personnel from the Van Amstel were dispatched to the amphibious assault ship USS Bataan (LHD-5) and shuttled ashore to tend to those injured during the storm. Dutch, Mexican, and Canadian naval forces also assisted with the distribution of food, water, and supplies throughout the initial stages of the hurricane relief efforts.
By Eric Wertheim, Editor, <i>Combat Fleets of the World</i>