A look at the Defence news 24 – 30 June

On Saturday 29 June, the Netherlands thanked all Dutch military veterans for their service to  their country during Veterans Day in The Hague. "I can’t express how grateful I am. A big thank you to our active servicemen and women who protect what is dear to us”, said Minister of Defence Ank Bijleveld-Schouten. The parade past King Willem-Alexander, comprising thousands of veterans and current military personnel, was one of the highlights of Veterans Day. The participation of a detachment made up entirely of female air force veterans, some retired and others still active, was a special feature of the parade. Female military veterans were in the spotlight, as women were first admitted to the Netherlands armed forces 75 years ago.

Chief of Defence admiral Rob Bauer greets a veteran.

Chief of Defence admiral Rob Bauer greets a veteran.

German and Dutch armed forces implement digital integration

The armed forces of Germany and the Netherlands are to undertake far-reaching digital integration in order to improve their collaboration in the field. The ministers of Defence of the two countries signed an agreement for the establishment of the new German-Dutch organisation Tactical Edge Networking (TEN) on 26 June. This took place in Brussels, where the ministers of Defence of NATO member states were meeting. The agreement lays the foundation for the amalgamation of two national digital change and modernisation programmes. TEN also offers opportunities for developing common standards and solutions within NATO. There may also be possibilities for the collective procurement of systems and materiel.

Dutch military instructors return from Niger

On 27 June, four Dutch military personnel, who were due to provide a 10-week training programme to the Niger army, made a temporary return to the Netherlands. Owing to changing circumstances, the provision of medical support to the instructors could no longer be guaranteed. The Dutch personnel were subsequently withdrawn until a solution is arrived at in consultation with US units, which partner the Dutch military deployed in Niger. The Ministry of Defence hopes to be able to send the training team back to Niger in a week’s time to complete the training programme. Dutch military instructors are providing military skills training to units of the Niger army in order to improve their effectiveness during UN operations. The Netherlands has been contributing to such training programmes for a number of years.