News feature | 06-07-2022 | 12:00
Dutch soldiers in Lithuania practiced the so-called medical chain. They trained both medical and tactical skills. This includes the removal of injured persons by helicopter. An overview of the Armed Forces’ operations in the period 29 to 5 July 2022.
Another Dutch unit was commanded by a Norwegian division at the training ground in Kazla Ruda. The task was to ensure that the route was free of ‘enemies’ during advance on foot.
Since 2017, the Netherlands has contributed to NATO’s enhanced Forward Presence in Lithuania. The defense is currently deploying 270 to 300 soldiers. The force is in the Baltic country to show that NATO stands on and to show solidarity with the Lithuanian people. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine makes it clear once again that the participation of Dutch military personnel in the EPP is important. The focus is on military exercises in an international context.
Defend the NATO area
In addition to the Dutch contributions to defense operations, the armed forces also make ships, army units and aircraft available for the Defense’s first major task: the Allied defense of the NATO Treaty area. See the overview of the Dutch military contribution to NATO.
Ongoing operations abroad:
- About 120 Dutch soldiers are protecting the airport in Erbil and the surrounding area of Iraq. From there, 3 soldiers also work as advisers to the Kurdish armed forces in the fight against ISIS. 2 Dutch staff officers work in the mission’s headquarters (Operation Inherent Resolve) in Kuwait. The Netherlands also participates in the NATO Mission in Iraq with 5 military personnel in Iraq. The operation focuses on advising the security sector. The deployment is supported by the national support element in both Baghdad and Erbil.
- For the Minusma mission in Mali, 3 staff officers are working in Bamako and 3 soldiers are assisting the Germans in Gao. In addition, the Netherlands provides 3 police officers and 1 soldier to the police component within the mission. All 14,000 blue helmets from Minusma are commanded by the Dutch Lieutenant General Kees Matthijssen. As long as he is force commander, Holland will supply 15 extra soldiers to the Minusma staff.
- In addition, 6 Dutch military personnel in Mali support the European Training Mission EUTM. The operational training activities for this mission have been temporarily suspended. EU Foreign Coordinator Josep Borrell argued, among other things, that the Malian authorities did not provide sufficient guarantees for the non-interference of the Russian Wagner group. The EU is not withdrawing from Mali.
- Dutch and German Patriot air defense systems protect vital objects in central Slovakia from possible air threats. This is done in a NATO context.
- Air Defense and Command frigate Zr.Ms. The Seven Provinces act as the flagship of the Standing NATO Maritime Group1 (SNMG1). The Netherlands supplies the commander and a large part of the staff to this NATO fleet. Sr.Ms. Karel Doorman is also part of it and is responsible for, among other things, the supply of the ships. SNMG1 is one of NATO’s 4 permanent maritime response forces.
- Sr.Ms. Groningen is the station ship in the Caribbean. It is used, among other things, for coastguard tasks and the fight against drugs.
- Dutch soldiers are involved in missions in the Middle East aimed at maintaining peace. These include Undof, Untso and Unifil.
- Six Dutch people are involved in the USSC mission in Jerusalem and Ramallah. It involves 3 civilians and 3 soldiers. The USSC focuses on professionalizing the Palestinian security sector. The USSC seeks to contribute to the viability of a stable Palestinian state. The United States is coordinating the mission.
- Soldiers from the Navy’s Fleet Marine Squadron form so-called vessel protection divisions. These regularly protect Dutch ships from piracy in the Gulf of Aden.
- Dutch military personnel also contribute to various headquarters and forward-looking missions. The uniformed personnel were sent individually to the Spanish Rota (European Union Naval Forces), Bahrain (Combined Maritime Forces), Abu Dhabi (European-led Maritime Awareness Strait of Hormuz), Tunis (European Liaison & Planning Cell Tunis), Kosovo (European ). Union Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo), Qatar (Operation Inherent Resolve) and Rome (EU Operation Irini).
Domestic operations / actions:
- The Armed Forces Explosive Ordnance Disposition Service identified and cleared 39 explosives.
- The airspace in the Benelux is monitored 24/7 by the air combat control from Air Operations Control Station Nieuw Milligen. Alternative Dutch and Belgian F-16s are used for safety. The task is currently with Belgium.
- The Armed Forces contributes in various ways to the reception of Ukrainian and Afghan refugees and asylum seekers from other countries. This takes place at Marine Etablissement Amsterdam, at defense sites in Zeist and Zoutkamp and at Legerplaats Harskamp.
- At the extra secure court in Amsterdam Osdorp, soldiers support the police in surveillance and security during the sessions in the so-called Marengo trial.
- The defense transported the wreckage of a sports plane that crashed in the Genemuiden on June 28 to Woensdrecht Air Base. There they will be kept for 3 months in a hangar for police investigation.