A look at the Defence news 12 – 18 February

Dutch F-16s supported ground troops in Iraq and eastern Syria in 8 missions. During 2 of these missions, ISIS fighters and a logistics storage location were attacked. This was reported in the weekly review of Defence operations (7 - 13 February).

Minister Ank Bijleveld.

Minister Ank Bijleveld.

A Dutch F-16 hit a metal cable during a flight in the American state of Arizona. The pilot remained unharmed and managed to land the severely damaged aircraft safely at a nearby airport.

Anti-ISIS coalition: primary focus is now on stabilising Iraq

Defence ministers from the anti-ISIS coalition met in Rome to discuss the continuation of the fight against the terrorist movement. The stabilisation stage is now in sight. The Netherlands Minister of Defence, Ank Bijleveld-Schouten, stressed that the military fight against ISIS is not over yet. “If we want to prevent ISIS raising its head again, we must make sure that the military are replaced by something else.” In this respect, police training is being considered, in addition to the training of the ‘green’ armed forces.

Netherlands State Secretary visits German counterparts

The Netherlands State Secretary for Defence Barbara Visser met with her German counterparts Katrin Suder and Gerd Hoofe in Berlin. The meeting was primarily intended as an opportunity to get to know one another. Germany and the Netherlands are loyal defence partners and are striving for a further strengthening of the mutual military cooperation.

NATO defence ministers meet in Brussels

NATO defence ministers, including the Netherlands Minister of Defence, Ank Bijleveld-Schouten, met in Brussels to discuss the latest developments, including the modernisation of NATO, cooperation with the EU and burden sharing.

Belgium joins the MRTT project

Belgium is now also part of the multinational multirole tanker–transport (MRTT) project. This project is a good example of future-oriented cooperation between European countries. The procurement of aircraft is an important contribution to solving the scarce EU and NATO tanker and transport capacity.

Minister Bijleveld on bio-terrorism: “The threat is real. This is not a script for a film.”

“An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure,” said Minister of Defence Ank Bijleveld-Schouten in relation to the threat of biological weapons. The Netherlands Minister called for greater cooperation in respect of prevention before an audience of world leaders during the Munich Security Conference in Germany, the largest global conference of its kind.