A look at the Defence news 21 – 27 August

Last week, 24 participants from 23 countries took part in the “First Aid to Cultural Heritage in Times of Crisis” course given in the Netherlands. The concluding exercise was held on the grounds of the Royal Military School on Woensdrecht Air Base on 22 August.

Starting on 6 August, for the duration of 3 weeks the course participants were taught how to “save” cultural heritage. The course participants came from all walks of life and included a curator, archeologist and archivist, as well as military and crisis coordinators. The very realistic exercise was held at the air base’s fire service training centre. The intention is that the course participants pass on their new-found knowledge to others via providing courses in their own countries. The very first First Aid to Cultural Heritage in Times of Crisis (FAC) training was held in Rome in 2010.

EOD deployment at Brussels airport

On 21 August, military personnel from the Defence Explosive Ordnance Disposal Service (EOD) assisted their Belgian colleagues in disarming an aerial bomb. The bomb, originating from the Second World War, was found close to Brussels airport. The Belgians requested Dutch EOD personnel to take part in the operation because of a malfunction to their own waterjet cutting equipment. Given the economic interests involved, the decision was made to not postpone the disarming of the bomb and the job was completed last night.