Weekly overview Defense operations | News item | Defense.nl

News item | 14-12-2022 | 12:00

In Romania, an enemy brigade approaches up to 20 kilometers away. That battle group of which the Netherlands is a part, is ordered to stop the advance. The Dutch military practiced this scenario with their French counterparts. An overview of the Armed Forces’ operations in the period 7 to 13 December 2022.

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cougardrones gather information as soldiers from both countries take up their positions. Scouts take out 2 enemy scout vehicles and then force back. This occurs while the French mechanized infantry provide support with mortar fire. Once at their own line, French Leclerc main battle tanks come into action. The shots that these 56-tonners fire with their 120 mm gun can be felt for miles around. The tanks know how to stop the enemy’s advance. The Dutch and French then secure the area.

Around 200 Dutch military personnel in Romania are part of the advanced NATO presence. With training, the soldiers prepare themselves for all possible situations. With the multinational unit they are part of, they are ready to defend NATO territory in Romania.

Defense of NATO territory

The armed forces provide ships, army units and aircraft for the Ministry of Defence’s first main task: the defense of the NATO treaty area. See the overview of the Dutch military contribution to NATO.

Current operations abroad:

  • 3 staff officers work in Bamako for the Minusma mission in Mali. 1 soldier assists the Germans in Gao. In addition, the Netherlands provides 4 officers 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 provides 15 additional military personnel to the Minusma staff. In addition, 6 Dutch military personnel in Mali support the European training mission EUTM.
  • The Netherlands has contributed to improved forward presence of NATO in Lithuania. The defense currently deploys 270 to 300 military personnel to this advanced NATO presence. The force is in the Baltic country to show that NATO stands by and to show solidarity with the Lithuanian people.
  • Around 120 Dutch soldiers protect the Erbil airport and the surrounding area in Iraq. From Erbil, another 3 soldiers work as advisers to the Kurdish armed forces in the fight against ISIS. To Mission Headquarters (Operation Inherent Resolve) in Kuwait, 2 Dutch staff officers have also been added. A soldier is also stationed in Baghdad for this mission. The Netherlands also participates in NATO’s capacity-building mission in Iraq with 5 military personnel (NATO mission in Iraq). It is intended to advise the security sector. That National support element supports the broadcast in both Baghdad and Erbil.
  • Dutch soldiers support German soldiers in Slovakia Patriotunits. The anti-aircraft systems 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.
  • Zr.Ms. Tromp is the flagship Standing Nato Maritime Group 1 (SNMG1). It is one of 4 NATO naval alliances, permanently available for alliance missions. SNMG1 will be under Dutch command throughout 2022. This is the northernmost fleet, particularly active in the North Sea, Baltic Sea and Atlantic Ocean. SNMG1 conducts exercises at sea and visits various ports to maintain diplomatic ties.
  • Zr.Ms. Holland is a station ship in the Caribbean. There, it is used, among other things, for coast guard tasks and counter-narcotics operations.
  • Soldiers of it 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.
  • In Jerusalem and Ramallah, 6 Dutch are involved in the USSC mission. It concerns 3 civilians and 3 military personnel. 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.
  • Dutch military personnel also contribute to various headquarters and forward missions. The uniformed have been sent individually to the Spanish rotation (European Union Naval Forces), Bahrain (combined maritime forces), Abu Dhabi (European-led Maritime Awareness Strait of Hormuz), Tunisia (European Liaison & Planning Cell Tunis) (in civilians), Kosovo (European Union Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo) and Qatar (Operation Inherent Resolve).

Domestic operations/actions:

  • The Defense Ordnance Disposal Service destroyed a total of 43 explosive devices across the country.
  • The airspace in the Benelux is monitored 24/7 by air combat control from Air Operations Control Station New Milligen. For safety reasons, Dutch and Belgian F-16s are used alternately. At the moment, the task lies with the Netherlands.
  • The defense contributes to the reception of Ukrainian and Afghan refugees and asylum seekers from other countries. This takes place at Marine Etablissement Amsterdam, in Zeist, Groningen Zoutkamp and at Harskamp Military Ground in Ede.

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