A look at the Defence news 19 December – 7 January

In 2019, the Netherlands will continue its contribution to a stable Iraq. This was the most important message from the Netherlands Minister of Defence Ank Bijleveld-Schouten during her Christmas visit to the Dutch troops in the country. “The battle against the Islamic State is not yet over, and the current stability in Iraq is still fragile,” the Minister said.

Middle East F-16 mission has come to an end

Operations for the Dutch F-16 aircraft in the Middle East have been concluded. In 2018, the aircraft flew over 3,000 missions over Iraq and eastern Syria. During these missions, force was used against the ISIS terrorist organisation about 2,100 times.

Changing of the guard within NATO flotilla

After 6 months away, HNLMS De Ruyter has returned to its mooring in Den Helder. The air defence and command frigate sailed from the Black Sea to mid-Norway as part of the Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 (SNMG2). The flotilla also shadowed Russian navy vessels in the Mediterranean. Sister ship HNLMS Evertsen took over its task and has now been part of the SNMG2 for 6 months.