A look at the Defence news 23 October – 29 October
The Netherlands will be assisting in the relocation of the US 10th Combat Aviation Brigade until 20 November. The first US aircraft from Germany landed at Eindhoven Air Base on Thursday 23 October. They were on their way to the port of Rotterdam, where they are being prepared for transport to the US.
The relocation operation concerns 60 helicopters - UH-60 Black Hawks, CH-47 Chinooks and AH-64 Apaches - and approximately 1,100 vehicles and containers. Because of the deterioration in the security situation, the US military presence in Europe has been increased to strengthen collective defence. The Netherlands is providing what is referred to as Host Nation Support. By making its ports and high-quality road and rail networks available, the Netherlands is providing NATO with the logistics capacity required to rapidly move large quantities of military materiel to and from the European mainland.
New minister and state secretary
Ank Bijleveld-Schouten of the Christian Democratic Alliance (CDA) is the new Minister of Defence. The ministry also has a State Secretary for Defence again. Barbara Visser of the People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD) took up the post, which had not been held since May 2010, on Thursday 26 October, the date on which the minister and the state secretary were sworn in. Both have commenced performing their respective duties in The Hague.
F16s to Jordan
6 former Royal Netherlands Air Force F-16s departed for Jordan from Volkel Air Base on Wednesday 25 October. Jordanian pilots were flying the fighter aircraft to their new home base in Al-Azraq. A group of Jordanian pilots and technicians spent the preceding weeks preparing for the transfer. Preparations included a modification to the software of the aircraft to meet the requirements of the Royal Jordanian Air Force. A total of 15 F-16s have been sold to the Royal Jordanian Air Force.