A look at the Defence news 9 – 15 January

Hundreds of American M1 Abrams tanks, Bradley infantry fighting vehicles and other materiel are being transported through the Netherlands by road, rail and water since 9 January. The transport, which is supported by Dutch military personnel, involves a total of 1,275 vehicles that belong to a US army unit on its way to Poland and Lithuania. The transport effort will last until the beginning of February.

Matthijssen no longer force commander in Mali

Lieutenant General Kees Matthijssen is no longer in command of the international UN force in Mali. As force commander, he held command over 13,000 military personnel from almost 60 countries for one year. The blue helmets are committed to ensuring security and stability in the African country. Major General Gaye from Senegal will take charge as acting commander until a new force commander has been appointed.

Royal Netherlands Air Force hands over Benelux air policing duties to Belgium

Since 12 January, the Belgian Air Force has once again been monitoring the airspace of Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg. Belgian F-16s took over the so-called Quick Reaction Alert from the Royal Netherlands Air Force. The Netherlands and Belgium alternately take on this duty for several months at a time.