§ Mr. Ian Stewart
Following discussions held in the framework of the WEU between the United Kingdom, Belgium and the Netherlands, the three Governments have agreed to integrate their mine countermeasures forces738W operating in the Gulf with effect from 1 July. The three Royal Navy, one Belgian and one Dutch MCM Vs will operate as a joint force, with logistic support provided by RN or RFA vessels. RN destroyers or frigates of the Armilla Patrol will provide any necessary protection for mine countermeasures operations. Operational tasking will be co-ordinated from the headquarters of the RN's commander-in-chief fleet at Northwood, although in the case of the Belgians and Dutch ultimate command over their own ships will be retained by their respective national naval authorities. The British commander of the integrated flotilla will be assisted by a staff officer provided alternately by the Belgian and Dutch navies. The joint operation has been designated Calendar after the world war II code name for the successful tri-national mine clearance of the Scheldt estuary in 1944–45.
Overall, the United Kingdom remains committed to close co-ordination with other Western navies also working to preserve international freedom of navigation in Gulf waters, and the arrangements for co-operation between the Royal Navy and other Western navies in the Gulf remain in other respects unchanged.