Weekly overview Defense operations | News item | Defense.nl

News item | 18-01-2023 | 12:00

Around 70 soldiers from the Marine Corps have arrived in the UK. From this month they will train Ukrainian soldiers on a large scale. It will be done until the end of April together with British colleagues. An overview of the Armed Forces’ operations in the period 10 to 17 January 2023.

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The British and Dutch give the Ukrainians a 5-week basic military training. This includes tactics, weapons theory with marksmanship training, medical assistance, explosives handling, international humanitarian law and dealing with cyber threats. The UK wants to train around 10,000 Ukrainian recruits in the coming months with various partners.

Last year, Dutch soldiers also trained Ukrainians in the UK. Then 90 army soldiers took up that task.

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Two soldiers in hilly terrain.  One of them carries the C-UAS on his shoulder.

Soldiers from the Counter Unmanned Aircraft System platoon


The Dutch soldiers in Romania practiced operations in mountainous terrain.
Furthermore, the Counter Unmanned Aircraft System division completed its training with a so-called certification exercise. This device, which detects drones early, was deployed abroad for the first time.

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.

Bosnia Herzegovina

4 Dutch staff officers went to work in Bosnia and Herzegovina. They contribute to the European force (EUFOR Althea). It is committed to political and social stability. This should reduce the chance of a new (armed) conflict.

Quick response alarm

The southern neighbor again monitors the airspace of Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg. Belgian F-16s take over the so-called Quick Reaction Alert from the Royal Netherlands Air Force. Dutch and Belgian fighter planes are used alternately for this task.

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:

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Three staff officers are still working in Bamako for the MINUSMA mission in Mali. 1 soldier assists the Germans in Gao. In addition, the Netherlands provides 4 officers and 1 Marechaussee to the police component within the mission. In addition, 4 Dutch military personnel in Mali support the European training mission EUTM.
  • 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. Holland is a station ship in the Caribbean. There, it is used, among other things, for coast guard tasks and counter-narcotics operations.
  • 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 the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (Undof), the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (Untso) and the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (Unifil).
  • In Jerusalem and Ramallah, 6 Dutch are involved in the United States Security Coordinator (USSC). It concerns 3 civilians and 3 military personnel. The USSC mission 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:

  • The Defense Ordnance Disposal Service destroyed 25 explosive devices across the country.
  • 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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