A look at the Defence news 5 June - 11 June

Twenty-four current and former members of the Netherlands armed forces will represent the Netherlands at the 2018 Invictus Games. The event will take place in October in Sydney, Australia. The team consists of Invictus Games veterans, newcomers and ‘returners’ from all four branches of the armed forces.

After London, Orlando and Toronto, Sydney will host the fourth iteration of the event for military personnel who were visibly (physically) or invisibly (mentally) wounded during their periods of service. The Hague will host the 2020 Invictus Games. In the words of Admiral Bauer, ‘The Netherlands has supported the Invictus Games from day one and will continue to do so.’

Belgium and the Netherlands confirm purchase of naval ships

Belgium and the Netherlands have joined forces to purchase multipurpose frigates and mine countermeasures vessels. Minister of Defence Ank Bijleveld-Schouten and her Belgian counterpart Steven Vandeput took the next step by signing two memoranda of understanding on 8 June. They did so on the margins of the two-day NATO meeting held in Brussels. The government recently announced its intention to replace the multipurpose frigates and mine countermeasures vessels currently in service. Belgium is taking the lead regarding the purchase of 12 mine countermeasures vessels, six of which will be for the Netherlands, and the accompanying unmanned systems. The Netherlands is taking the lead with respect to the purchase of the multipurpose frigates. As the leading party, it will enter into a contract for four frigates, two of which will be for Belgium.

Belgium, Denmark and the Netherlands to provide headquarters for special operations

Belgium, Denmark and the Netherlands will provide a rapidly deployable NATO headquarters for the command and control of special operations. The alliance has a dire shortage of such headquarters. It will be the first time that a special forces headquarters is jointly provided to NATO by three countries. The three defence ministers signed an agreement for the purpose during the Meetings of NATO Defence Ministers held in Brussels on 7 and 8 June. What will be known as Composite Special Operations Component Command (CSOCC) will initially be led by Denmark. Six special operations task forces and one special operations air task force will be under this command. CSOCC is expected to be fully operational at the end of 2020.