News item | 31-08-2022 | 11:45
Reclaim territory with minimal collateral damage. That was the overall scenario for various educational courses in Lithuania. This is how the Dutch military prepared for the big exercise Iron Wolf in October. An overview of the Armed Forces’ operations in the period 24 to 30 August 2022.
For this purpose, the battle group had a multinational JTAC team (common terminal attack controllers). This provides ground support, where they point pilots in the air towards the target.
Other JTAC personnel received training in coordinating said air support. That’s how they had to during one live fire exercise pause for a moment to temporarily extinguish the fire. This is to get a plane to drop its bombs. All in all a challenging training, how good communication, situational awareness and accuracy go hand in hand.
Still other units engaged in basic combat techniques. Think about setting an ambush, contact drills and evacuating wounded from a Boxer armored vehicle.
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.
Reception of asylum seekers
The Ministry of Defense is making an extra piece of land available at Zoutkamp in Groningen for the reception of 500 asylum seekers. Asylum seekers are already being received at Willem Lodewijk van Nassaukazerne.
The armed forces contribute to the reception of Ukrainian and Afghan refugees and asylum seekers from other countries in several places. This takes place at Marine Etablissement Amsterdam, a defense site in Zeist and at Legerplaats Harskamp in Ede.
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.
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.
- Around 100 Dutch soldiers are part of the advanced NATO presence in Romania. The military is preparing to defend NATO territory in Romania with this multinational unit should the situation escalate to the extreme. For the encampment of the Belgian, French and Dutch soldiers, a 66-man stapler team builds a camp in Cincu. It should be ready at the end of October
- There are about 100 Dutch soldiers stationed in central Slovakia. There protect German and Dutch Patriot-air defense systems 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.
- Around 90 soldiers are training Ukrainian soldiers on a large scale in the UK.
- 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.
- Sr.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.
- Sr.Ms. Vlaardingen sails ahead Standing NATO mine countermeasures group 2. This NATO naval alliance focuses on mine clearance in and around the Mediterranean.
- 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 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.
- Dutch military personnel also contribute to various headquarters and forward 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), Tunisia (European Liaison & Planning Cell Tunis) (in plain clothes), Kosovo (European Union Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo), Qatar (Operation Inherent Resolve) and Rome (EU Operation Ireland).
- The Defense Explosive Ordnance Disposition Service identified and destroyed a total of 57 explosive devices across the country. Sr.Ms. Makkum neutralized 8 explosives in the North Sea.
- 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.