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A look at the Defence news 13 February – 19 February

Dutch fighter aircraft now have permission to enter French airspace if they are escorting a civilian aircraft that could pose a threat. Minister Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert signed a treaty to this effect in Brussels. A look at the Defence news 13 February – 19 February

The signing of this treaty took place alongside the meeting of NATO ministers being held in Brussels. Since 1 January 2017, Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands have been working in close cooperation in the field of airspace surveillance. The Benelux airspace is monitored by Belgian or Dutch fighter aircraft on a rotational basis

Defence organisation aims to modernise and expand striking power

Over the next few years, the Netherlands Defence organisation aims to modernise and expand its striking power, this following a thorough analysis of geopolitical, societal, demographic and technological developments. The objective: a sustainably ready and rapidly deployable armed forces as stable factor in an uncertain world. This plan became evident from the ‘lines of development’ document sent to the Dutch House of Representatives by Minister Hennis-Plasschaert.

Investigation confirms disappearance of navy vessels from Java Sea

It would appear that the three missing Dutch navy ships in the Java Sea have really been removed from their location on the sea bed. This is the outcome of a joint inquiry into the missing vessels, commissioned by the Netherlands and Indonesia. Experts from both countries came to the conclusion that divers from the Karel Doorman Fund had been searching in the correct location last year when they made the discovery. The investigation also confirmed that a salvage operation had taken place to remove the ships from their location.

NATO ministers meet new US Minister of Defence

Minister Hennis and other NATO defence ministers made the acquaintance of the new US Secretary of Defence James Mattis in Brussels this week, where they discussed the height of European defence spending, the future direction of the alliance and other issues. The NATO presence in the Baltic states was also discussed. The staff of the German-led battle group has recently arrived in Lithuania, among which are a number of Dutch Military personnel. Another 250 Dutch military personnel will also be deployed to the area during the course of next month.

Video: Spectacular demonstration concludes Bison Drawsko

Flashes, load bangs, low-flying fighter aircraft, flaming armoured vehicles and military personnel running as if their lives depend on it: these were the key ingredients of the spectacular Fire Power Demo that acted as final element for the tactical section of the international exercise Bison Drawsko in Poland. During the demonstration, roughly 200 military personnel hailing from various countries showed off their skills in military vehicles, aircraft and helicopters.

Royal Netherlands Navy crew receives award for emergency humanitarian aid Haïti

Last October, the patrol vessel HNLMS Holland provided emergency humanitarian aid in Haïti. Hurricane Matthew had wreaked havoc on the island, particularly on the west coast, leaving hardly any buildings or trees intact. RNLN personnel were awarded the Commemoration Medal for Humanitarian Disaster Relief for their actions. Together with HNLMS Pelikaan, the Holland was active in the coastal region for a fortnight. They delivered 450 tonnes of aid goods to people in hard to reach locations, until aid organisations were able to start using their own means of transport for this task.