A look at the Defence news 11 - 17 September

Very successful collection campaign for female Ukrainian military personnel

An internal collection campaign for the benefit of Ukrainian female military personnel has raised over 65 cubic metres of clothes, shoes and other combat gear. The collected items are now on their way to the war-torn country.

Enlarge image Minister Ollongren inspects combat gear.
Minister Ollongren inspects combat gear.

The campaign was initiated in early March of this year by the Vrouw & Defensie (Woman and Defence) network. Members of the network had heard that many women in Ukraine are fighting in oversized boots and in ill-fitting combat gear, which is hindering them during military operations. The collection campaign led to a second initiative: a regular stream of goods for all military personnel, i.e. also for the benefit of male military personnel. 

Dutch involvement in UN mission Mali to be terminated

The Dutch military presence in Mali is steadily decreasing. The 3 officers who were still present in Bamako have returned to the Netherlands, together with one policeman. They were the last 4 uniformed Dutch personnel posted at the headquarters of the UN mission in Mali (Minusma). After almost 10 years of Dutch deployments and support to Minusma, the Dutch activities in support of the mission have now been ended. Currently, there is 1 Dutch officer working for the German contingent in Eastern Mali. This contingent is due to leave the country later this year, meaning that the Dutch officer will also be leaving the country and returning to the Netherlands. There are also 4 Dutch military personnel working for the European Training Mission in Mali (EUTM Mali).

Remembrance ceremony for Lancaster ED603 crew members

On 14 September, a remembrance ceremony for the crew members of the Lancaster ED603 was held in Kornwerderzand, in the province of Friesland. The bomber crashed after it was shot down by a German fighter aircraft in 1943. The 7 crew members were killed in the crash. The bodies of 4 of the airmen were washed ashore soon after and were identified in 1946. The remains of the 3 other airmen were recovered last week. It concerns Pilot Officers Arthur Bertram Smart and Charles Frederick Sprack, and Flight Sergeant Raymond Edward Moore. “We honour these airmen by giving them an appropriate and fitting final resting place,” Minister of Defence Kajsa Ollongren said in her speech. 

Defence exhibition London: focus on the business community and cooperation

The outgoing Netherlands State Secretary for Defence Christophe van der Maat visited the Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI) Event in London last week. He attended the event to, among other things, help improve the international position of the Dutch business community. This is one of the measures set out in the Defence Industry Strategy, updated in 2022. The DSEI is one of the leading global events in the defence sector.  During his visit Van der Maat called for close cooperation with industry.