A look at the Defence news 21 - 27 August

Minister Ollongren expresses concern about security on the Black Sea
During a 3-day visit to Ukraine last week, outgoing Netherlands Minister of Defence Kajsa Ollongren expressed her concern about the security situation in the Black Sea. She called the threat of sea mines a serious danger. As promised earlier, the Netherlands is to deliver 2 minehunters to Ukraine. This will be done as soon as the Royal Netherlands Navy has replacement capabilities. Next month, together with Belgium and other allies the Netherlands will start training Ukrainian crews to operate these ships.

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Reznikov and Ollongren with a scale model of a Dutch F-16.

Ukraine itself is also littered with explosives. Recently, the Netherlands supplied mine roller systems for vehicles and it is now supplying 950 Man Portable Line Charges (MPLC) at an accelerated rate. These are on top of the 50 systems that had already been donated. The MPLC is a portable lightweight explosive in a backpack.

In Kyiv, Minister Ollongren spoke with her Ukrainian counterpart Oleksii Reznikov, took part in a Crimea Platform meeting and attended a symposium on veteran care. The Netherlands is to join a British plan for the care and aftercare of Ukrainian veterans, in which a medical centre in Ukraine where veterans can convalesce will be supported.

Military medical team provides care in Suriname

Last week, a Defence medical team took part in a national humanitarian initiative in Suriname. Similar to last year, the military team focused on various aspects of health care in a remote region. This initiative was part of Operation Gran Mati (great friend).

HNLMS Groningen intercepts almost 2,600 kilos of drugs in the Caribbean Sea

HNLMS Groningen recently intercepted close to 2,600 kilos of drugs in the Caribbean Sea. The drugs were seized during 2 drug hauls. The naval vessel came into action after it had been alerted by the Dutch Caribbean Coast Guard.

Walter Hansen back on familiar ground in Caribbean

Maintaining safety at sea and on land in the Caribbean; this responsibility now mainly rests with Commodore Walter Hansen. The new Flag Officer Caribbean, also Director of the Dutch Caribbean Coast Guard, succeeds Brigadier General Frank Boots (Marine Corps). Hansen also took over his predecessor’s role of close cooperation with the Americans in fighting drug-related crime.