A look at the Defence News 19 December – 7 January

On 3 January, 6 Dutch F-16 fighters left for the Middle East from Volkel Air Base to join the international coalition currently fighting against the ISIS terrorist organisation.

The F-16s, 2 reserve aircraft among them, are operating from Jordan. It is the second time that the Netherlands has deployed fighter aircraft in the fight against ISIS. The previous deployment took place from October 2014 to July 2016. The go-ahead for renewed Dutch participation was given late last year. Earlier, 150 military personnel from the F-16 detachment had departed from Eindhoven Air Base. Although the Islamic terrorist organisation has almost been defeated, the battle is not yet over. The organisation still poses a threat, which means that the coalition is still in need of fighter aircraft.

Defence bids farewell to a Knight

Various representatives of the Netherlands Ministry of Defence were in attendance in the United States to bid farewell to Edward Simons Fulmer, the American Knight in the Military Order of William. The Second World War pilot passed away at the age of 98 in his place of residence Syracuse on 31 December. Dutch Air Force personnel took part in the vigil around the coffin. The vigil was followed by a memorial service held in the funeral home in Syracuse.

Knight in the Military Order of William Major Gijs Tuinman read the knight’s certificate aloud and passed the Knight in the Military Order of William (4th class) medal to Mr Fulmer’s daughter. He then laid an orchid branch on the coffin cushion. The Dutch ambassador to the United States presented a personal letter from King Willem Alexander to the family.

First VECTOR SF vehicle goes to the commandos

On 21 December, the Commando Corps (KCT) took receipt of the first of 50 new commando jeeps. The Versatile Expeditionary Commando Tactical Off Road (VECTOR) is a replacement for a share of the current Mercedes-Benz 290GD all-terrain vehicles. The handover of the Special Forces vehicle took place at the Engelbrecht van Nassau Barracks in Roosendaal, the Commando Corps’ home base.