A look at the Defence news 19 - 25 February

Today, the Royal Netherlands Navy (RNLN) escorted 3 Russian warships through the North Sea: the Feodor Golovin, which is a Vishnya-class intelligence collection ship, and 2 accompanying ships.

Zr. Ms. Snellius in Scottish waters, 2010.

Zr. Ms. Snellius in Scottish waters, 2010.

The vessels passed by the Wadden islands at a distance of a few dozen kilometres. They were closely monitored by an RNLN hydrographic survey vessel. The Russian vessels were on their way to their base port following participation in the war in Syria.

Earlier this week, the Portuguese, French and British navies monitored the Russian vessels in the Atlantic Ocean and through the English Channel. The Russian warships spent a long time sailing past the south coast of England.

Meteo task handed over to Canada after delivery of 3.5 million products

Today, the meteorological service of the Netherlands Ministry of Defence handed over its NATO rapid response unit tasks to Canada. The Joint Meteorological Group (JMG) at Woensdrecht Air Base has provided the weather forecasts for every exercise and deployment of the NATO Response Force (NRF) for the past two years.

During this period, the JMG provided the NRF with more than 3.5 million products, enabling well-considered decisions to be taken in combat and other situations. It is vital, for example, for commanders to know if weather conditions such as sand storms can be expected during missions.

As the JMG has better coverage of Europe than Canada, the JMG will continue to produce a number of European meteorological products in support of the Canadian service.

F16s attack ISIS fighters

Acting in support of coalition ground troops, Dutch F-16s attacked ISIS fighters near Abu Kamal, in the east Syrian province of Deir Al Zour. This was reported in the weekly review of Defence operations (14 - 21 February).

The fighter aircraft supported the ground troops in 9 missions, in one of which force was used. They also showed their presence in the Iraq provinces Ninawa and Diyala.

The Netherlands is part of the coalition fighting the ISIS terrorist organisation over Iraq and eastern Syria.