Weekly overview Defense operations | News item | Defense.nl

News item | 27-07-2022 | 12:00

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Equipment in Eemshaven, ready for shipment to Lithuania.

The Netherlands has contributed to the strengthened military presence since 2017 (improved forward presence) of NATO in Lithuania. The defense currently deploys 270 to 300 soldiers. The force is in the Baltic country to show that NATO stands by 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 eFP 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 provide ships, army units and aircraft for the Defense’s first main task: the allied defense of the NATO treaty area. See the overview of the Dutch military contribution to NATO.

The Caribbean

Sr.Ms. Groningen has intercepted a fast drug boat in the Caribbean Sea. This was done in collaboration with the Caribbean Coast Guard. More than 1,620 kilos of euphoric substances have been seized. During the eavesdropping operation, a person on board the so-called go-fast died. Read the entire message here.

The patrol ship Zr.Ms. Groningen is the station ship in the Caribbean. There, it is used, among other things, for coast guard tasks and the fight against narcotics.

Current operations abroad:

  • Around 120 Dutch soldiers protect the airport in Erbil and the surrounding area in Iraq. From there, 3 soldiers also work as advisers to the Kurdish armed forces in the fight against ISIS. In the mission headquarters (Operation Inherent Resolve) 2 Dutch staff officers work in Kuwait. The Netherlands also participates in NATO’s capacity-building mission in Iraq (NATO mission in Iraq) with 5 soldiers. The operation focuses on advising the security sector. The deployment is supported in both Baghdad and Erbil by National support element.
  • For the Minusma mission in Mali, 3 staff officers work in Bamako and 3 soldiers who assist 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 Minusma Blue Helmets are commanded by Dutch Lieutenant General Kees Matthijssen. As long as he force commander The Netherlands supplies 15 extra soldiers to the Minusma staff. In addition, 6 Dutch military personnel in Mali support the European training mission EUTM.
  • Dutch and German Patriot-air defense systems in central Slovakia protect vital objects against possible threats from the air. This is happening in the context of NATO and has everything to do with the war in Ukraine.
  • Army soldiers build a military base in Cincu, Romania, with French and Belgian counterparts. Next week, soldiers from 11 Airmobile Brigade will move here. The Red Berets are part of the NATO Forward Presence (eFP) in Romania.
  • Logistics support and supply vessel Zr.Ms. Karel Doorman is part of Standing NATO Maritime Group 1 (SNMG1). The Netherlands will be at the head of this naval association throughout 2022 and, in addition to the commander, will also be responsible for a large part of the staff. SNMG1 is one of NATO’s 4 permanent maritime response forces.
  • Dutch soldiers are involved in peacekeeping missions in the Middle East. These include Undof, Untso and Unifil.
  • Six Dutch are involved in the USSC mission in Jerusalem and Ramallah. It concerns 3 civilians and 3 soldiers. The USSC focuses on professionalizing the Palestinian security sector. The USSC attempts to contribute to the viability of a stable Palestinian state. The United States is coordinating the mission.
  • Soldiers from Navy Marine Squadron of the fleet form so-called vessel protection departments. These regularly protect Dutch ships against piracy in the Gulf of Aden.
  • Dutch military personnel also contribute to various headquarters and forward missions. The uniforms have been sent individually to the Spaniards rot (European Union Naval Forces), Bahrain (combined maritime forces), Abu Dhabi (European-led Maritime Awareness Strait of Hormuz), Tunisia (European Liaison & Planning Cell Tunis), Kosovo (European Union Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo), Qatar (Operation Inherent Resolve) and Rome (EU Operation Ireland).

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Soldiers at work on a bridge.

Construction of the pontoon bridge at Cuijk.

Domestic operations/actions:

  • The Defense Explosive Ordnance Disposition Service identified and cleared 31 explosives.
  • The airspace in the Benelux is monitored 24/7 by air combat control from Air Operations Control Station New Milligen. Alternate Dutch and Belgian F-16s are used for security. At the moment, the task lies with Belgium.
  • The defense contributes 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 (Groningen) and at Legerplaats Harskamp in Ede.
  • Army soldiers built a pontoon bridge over the Maas at Cuijk. This made it possible for hikers of the 4Daagse to cross the stream there.

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