Belgian Battleship on Friendly Visit [Archives:1997/51/Law & Diplomacy]
On the evening of December 16th, the command ship Godetia (name of a flower) docked at the Port of Aden on a friendly visit to the Yemeni shores. The reception held on board the ship was attended by the Deputy Governor of Aden, Mr. Abdulakrim Shayif; the 1st SDecretary at the Belgian Embassy in Riyadh, the Belgian Consular Representative in Sanaa, Mr. Zaghlool Ba-Zara’a and a number of Yemeni military (naval) commanders and civilian officials. The ship’s captain, Commander Edwin van den Haute conducted the Yemeni guests to a guided tour on board the ship. “This visit will further consolidate the cooperation between Yemen and Belgium,” said Mr. Shayif who was later presented the ‘Ship’s Shield’ by the Godetia’s captain. Mr. Zaghlool Ba-Zaraa said, “This is the first time a Belgian command ship visits Yemen,” adding, “it is a 32-year old defense ship with only a few arms.” The Godetia command ship (91.8 m long and 14m wide) was first launched into sea on December 7th, 1965 to be mainly used for mine counter-measures operations. It carries the required equipment to conduct and coordinate all such operations. The Godetia also provides administrative, technical, and logistic support and enhances the combat readiness of the troops engaged in battle by improving the mobility and efficiency of the ships. On board, there are 8 officers and 85 crew members. Moreover, this ship is equipped with a medical and dental surgery and a helicopter platform. It had undergone a major renovation and up-grading during 1990 to 1992, when new engines and new radio equipment were installed.
By: Ridhwan Al-Saqqaf, Aden Office, Yemen Times.