A look at the Defence news 16 – 22 August

Both Chinooks, which are in Albania because of the many fires, will stay there longer. Initially, Defence had promised help until 21 August, but now this has been extended to the 28th.

A fire gets extinguished.
Defence is still helping to suppress the wildfires in Albania.

Military personnel protect merchant ship for 300th time

Heavily armed RNLN personnel protected a merchant ship against piracy for the 300th time. This happened on the route between the Sri Lankan port of Hambantota and the Egyptian port of Safaga. The Rolldock Storm passed through the pirate-prone Gulf of Aden during this trip.

Defence assistance to Haiti gets under way

The Netherlands Defence organisation is providing aid to Haiti from patrol vessel HNLMS Holland. On 14 August, the country was hit by a massive earthquake. Also on board are an NH90 helicopter, fast boats and a team of at least 22 additional military personnel. Reconnaissance has been carried out on and over the island. 

Families enter a plane for evacuation.
Families enter a plane for evacuation.

Afghanistan evacuation flights

Since 18 August, the Defence organisation has been carrying out evacuation flights from Afghanistan. That is three days after the Taliban took full control of the country. The evacuations concern Dutch nationals, but also people of other nationalities. The Ministry of Defence is also evacuating Afghan nationals who are in danger in their own country because they have worked for the Netherlands or have contributed to Dutch operations.

Defence sent 62 force protection soldiers to Kabul. Later in the week, that group was reinforced with additional military personnel. They provide security for aircraft, evacuees and a consular emergency team.

The first evacuees from Afghanistan arrived at the Willem Lodewijk van Nassau Barracks in Zoutkamp. Defence made the site available. The Central Agency for the Reception of Asylum Seekers is responsible for the effective reception.

See also Afghanistan evacuation flights.