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A look at the Defence news 12 – 18 December

The Netherlands Minister of Defence Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert and her Japanese counterpart Tomomi Inada have expressed their intention for the Netherlands and Japan to increase their cooperation in the area of defence. They signed an agreement to this end in Tokyo. A look at the Defence news 12 – 18 December.

Ministers Hennis and Inada greet Japanese servicemen on parade.

Image: Ministerie van Defensie Japan

It is the first time in 12 years that a Netherlands minister of defence has visited Japan. Both ministers stressed the importance of practical cooperation, as is already in place on counterpiracy missions and peacekeeping operations. In their view, it is inconceivable in the current security situation that individual countries can defend themselves without the cooperation of others.

Americans back in Eygelshoven

Around 1,600 American military vehicles will soon be on standby again on Dutch soil. On 15 December, the US prepositioned maintenance and storage site in Eygelshoven, in the south of the Dutch province of Limburg, reopened its doors. “Opening this location is a proportional step that we are taking to defend NATO allies whenever required. After all, our alliance is built on a strong foundation of solidarity and joint support,” the Netherlands Chief of Defence, General Tom Middendorp said. 

Materiel on its way to Lithuania for F-16 air surveillance

A convoy of over 30 vehicles is on its way from Leeuwarden Air Base to Siauliai Air Base in Lithuania. The materiel to be transported, for the operation of F-16s, will be needed from early January onwards, when 4 Dutch fighter aircraft will monitor the airspace of the Baltic states Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. These countries do not have their own fighter aircraft.

Royal Netherlands Navy again escorts Russian ship

The frigate HNLMS Van Amstel again escorted a Russian ship through the Dutch Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). The Van Amstel awaited the Russian Neustraschimy-class frigate and escorted it through the North Sea. Before the Dutch escort, the Russian frigate was escorted by a British frigate and a Belgian patrol vessel, after which it was handed over to the Van Amstel. Within NATO, the coastal states closely cooperate to monitor shipping.