A look at the Defence news 19 - 25 june

5,300 NATO troops, Leopard tanks, CV90s, amphibious bridging vehicles and many other military vehicles spent the past two weeks executing training manoeuvres in the Lithuanian countryside. Extensive crop fields and dark coniferous forests formed the setting for Iron Wolf, an international military exercise. The purpose of the exercise is to ensure that troops of the enhanced Forward Presence (eFP) are in a full state of readiness.

Dutch troops participated in the exercise.
250 Dutch troops participated in the exercise.

President Dalia Grybauskaité of Lithuania and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg paid a visit during the exercise. The president expressed her deep concern about the tense situation and urged NATO to do even more to ensure its readiness to meet the threat.

KDC-10 again serves anti-ISIS coalition

A KDC-10 of the Royal Netherlands Air Force has started a new mission over Iraq and, in principle, over eastern Syria. The tanker aircraft will spend the coming months supplying fuel to aircraft of the anti-ISIS coalition. It has already refuelled two of the coalition’s F-15 fighter aircraft.

For now, the KDC-10 is only operating in Iraqi airspace because a Syrian military aircraft was shot down over Syria earlier this week. The coalition is closely monitoring developments in the region. The KDC-10 will resume operations over eastern Syria if and when, in the opinion of the coalition, the situation allows.

Anglo-Dutch cooperation strengthened on Queen Elizabeth’s birthday

Minister of Defence Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert and her British counterpart, Secretary of State for Defence Sir Michael Fallon, have signed an agreement that will strengthen security cooperation between the Netherlands and the UK. The agreement was signed on the margins of the Trooping the Colour event, which is held in the UK on the occasion of Queen Elizabeth’s official birthday. Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert was in London at the invitation of Michael Fallon.

To be sufficiently prepared for future challenges, the ministers said that they would strengthen the already very strong ties even further. They intend to identify other areas in which cooperation could be undertaken in order to increase the military striking power and effectiveness of both countries’ armed forces.