Weekly overview Defense operations | News item | Defense.nl

News item | 25-01-2023 | 12:00

The Dutch soldiers in Lithuania are preparing to return home. A special support team came from the Netherlands to help with this logistical operation. An overview of the Armed Forces’ operations in the period 18 to 24 January 2023.

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Vehicles and containers are ready for shipment.

A new group of soldiers will arrive in Lithuania next week. This unit also takes its own equipment with it.

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.

Marengo process

Since this week, soldiers have again supported the police in guarding and securing the Amsterdam Extra Secure Court (the bunker). Among other things, the so-called Marengo and Eris processes are held here. The defense already undertook this task for a large part of last year.

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Explosion in hilly landscape

Engineers practice explosive charges in Romania.


In Romania, the Dutch military trained in the Transylvanian Alps. A unique training place where ‘skills and exercises‘ can be tested to the limit.

Dutch engineers trained together with Romanian and American colleagues in, among other things, making explosive charges. In this way, obstacles can be removed or, conversely, created.

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 unmanned reconnaissance aircraft MQ-9 Reaper has completed its 1,000. flight time. It happened in the Caribbean.

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. 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.
  • Around 70 soldiers from the Marine Corps in the UK are providing basic training to Ukrainian soldiers on a large scale. It will be done until the end of April together with British colleagues.
  • In Bosnia and Herzegovina, 4 Dutch staff officers contribute European strength (EUFOR Althea). It is committed to political and social stability.
  • Under the banner of The EU’s military assistance mission (EUMAM) Ukrainian soldiers are being trained. The Netherlands supplies 2 officers to the headquarters in Brussels. For this mission, 6 military personnel are also working on Special Training Command in German Strausberg and 1 in Polish Zagan. This officer is working on Combined Arms Training Command.
  • 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 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. 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. This concerns, among other things, United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (Undo), United Nations Ceasefire Monitoring Organization (Untso) and United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (Unifile).
  • In Jerusalem and Ramallah, 6 Dutch are involved in 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 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 civilian), Kosovo (European Union Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo) and Qatar (Operation Inherent Resolve).

Domestic operations/actions:

  • The armed forces’ explosive rescue service destroyed 26 explosive devices across the country.
  • Belgium monitors its own airspace and that of the Netherlands and Luxembourg (Benelux). Before that Quick response alarm Dutch and Belgian fighter planes are used alternately.
  • 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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