A look at the Defence news 26 – 30 April

On 27 April, EU ministers of defence met in Malta to discuss issues such as the positioning of the EU as a reliable security partner. The topic of rapidly deployable EU units was also raised. Netherlands Minister of Defence Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert voiced her critique on this subject. “Use them or lose them,” she commented. “The main issue here is the political will to actually deploy military units. We need to bring an end to the non-committal set-up.”

The minister was also firm regarding the initiative to reach permanent structured cooperation. “I see this primarily as an impulse to improve cooperation for the purpose of increasing our military striking power”. She believes the aim should be a stronger EU within NATO, equipped with capabilities required by both organisations.

Minister Hennis: “If one thing has become clear over the past few years, it is that not a single Member State is capable of facing the existing threats and risks alone. These threats and risks call for immediate action, with a focus on increased investment and the joining of forces.”

Van Amstel again confiscates drugs

HNLMS Van Amstel has once again seized large quantities of drugs during two actions in the Caribbean, confiscating a total amount of 1,100 kilos.  During one of these actions, the onboard gunner of the NH90 maritime combat helicopter disabled the smuggling vessel’s outboard motor. The decision to do so was made after the suspect boat refused to stop, even after a number of warning shots had been fired. Earlier this month, the Van Amstel intercepted 2 drugs transports in 1 night. During that particular action, 700 kilos of cocaine were seized.