A look at the Defence news 17-21 May

All that is missing is the sand and the burning sun on your face. Apart from that, it is as if you really are walking down the streets of the Malinese city of Gao, where Dutch military personnel are stationed. The new, virtual training system SUIT allows military personnel to imagine they are in an operational area. The system is particularly suitable for training procedures and communication during operations in urbanised terrain and counterterrorism operations.

Russian fighter aircraft buzz frigate

On 16 May, 2 Russian Su24 (Fencer) fighter aircraft flew very close to HNLMS Evertsen 3 times. This frigate is currently part of the Standing NATO Maritime Group 1. The multinational NATO flotilla is sailing in the Baltic Sea in connection with the NATO reassurance measures. The Russian action did not pose a threat to the air defence and command frigate, but was closely monitored nonetheless.

Royal honour for Australian Chief of Defence

The Australian Chief of Defence Air Chief Marshal Mark Binskin is a Commander in the Order of Orange-Nassau, with swords. General Tom Middendorp presented the honours to his colleague on 17 May in The Hague. Binskin was awarded this honour among other things for his personal role and leadership after flight MH17 was shot down on 17 July 2014, killing all 298 passengers and crew, including 38 Australians.

Logistics support centre on Sri Lanka

The counterpiracy detachments of Vessel Protection Detachments (VPD) of the Marine Corps will get a forward logistics base in Galle on Sri Lanka. The agreement with the country allows the Defence organisation to store weapons, ammunition and equipment for the VPD teams in Galle. This way they can reach the operational area faster.