Weekly overview Defense operations | News item | Defense.nl

News item | 21-12-2022 | 12:00

The Explosive Ordnance Disposal Service (EOD) has detonated a bomb in an area outside Huissen in Gelderland. It happened after the military experts secured the Second World War 500-pound. An overview of the Armed Forces’ operations in the period 14 to 20 December 2022.

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The EOD defused the projectile by removing the detonator. It is the most dangerous act. Residents had to leave their homes for several hours as a precaution.

Ordnance disposal officers cleared 39 explosive devices across the country last week. In addition, Zr.Ms. Schiedam 2 mines in the North Sea.

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Tanks in a row in a wide landscape.


During a training course, the Dutch and French soldiers in Romania strengthened each other’s unique abilities. For example, the French armored unit practiced gaining ground under the threat of a Dutch air mobile anti-tank unit. For example, the French learned how best to cross terrain parts. This gave the Dutch more insight into the actions of armored units and how they could respond most effectively.

Dutch engineers experimented to achieve maximum results with a minimum of explosives when clearing obstacles. In actual implementation, not all resources are always available.

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Explosion of vehicles.

Genie practices with payload.

The permanent Parliamentary Defense Committee, the Chief of Defense, Mission Max and the Commander-in-Chief of the Army came on a working visit. Among other things, they took part in a shooting exercise.

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.

The Caribbean

The Royal Dutch Navy has this year a record number of intercepted drugs in the Caribbean to its name. This has been done in collaboration with international partners. Zr.Ms. In recent weeks, the Netherlands encountered 4 shipments, good for almost 3,000 kilos of cocaine. This brings the total to almost 35,000 kilos of contraband intercepted in 2022.

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.

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 is force commander, Holland will supply 15 extra soldiers to Minusmastaben. In addition, 3 Dutch military personnel in Mali support the European training mission EUTM.
  • Since 2017, the Netherlands has contributed to NATO’s enhanced forward presence in Lithuania. The defense is currently deploying 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. 2 Dutch staff officers have also been added to the mission headquarters (Operation Inherent Resolve) in Kuwait. A soldier is also stationed in Baghdad for this mission. The Netherlands is also participating in NATO’s capacity-building mission in Iraq with five military personnel. It is intended to advise the security sector. The national support element supports the deployment in both Baghdad and Erbil.
  • Dutch soldiers support German Patriot units in Slovakia. 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 of 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.
  • Officials from the Navy’s Fleet Marine Squadron form so-called vessel protection divisions. 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 Rota (European Union Naval Forces), Bahrain (Combined Maritime Forces), Abu Dhabi (European-led Maritime Awareness Strait of Hormuz), Tunis (European Liaison & Planning Cell Tunis) (in civilian clothes ) ), Kosovo (EU Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo) and Qatar (Operation Inherent Resolve).

Domestic operations/actions:

  • Benelux airspace is monitored 24/7 by Air Combat Command from Air Operations Control Station Nieuw Milligen. For security 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.

This is the last weekly overview of defense operations in 2022. The next one will be published on 11 January.

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