A look at the Defence news 25 - 31 March

Another military aircraft to the Middle East for airdrops
The Netherlands is once again sending a C-130 Hercules transport aircraft to the Middle East, where later this month it will be deployed for lending humanitarian support to Gaza.

Like last month, it will drop food parcels as part of a joint operation with Jordan and other international partners. The Dutch government made an announcement to this effect last week.

HNLMS Tromp to start operations for security and freedom of navigation in the Red Sea

HNLMS Tromp has been deployed to combat Houthi missiles and drones in the Red Sea. The air defence and command frigate is taking part in the American-led Operation Prosperity Guardian. The ship will also provide support to EU operation Aspides. Both operations are aimed at contributing to security and freedom of navigation in the area. 

Dutch Patriot unit to exercise in Lithuania this summer

The Defence organisation is preparing a special exercise for a Patriot anti-aircraft unit in Lithuania. The exercise will take place in the summer and last for a few weeks. Netherlands Minister of Defence Kajsa Ollongren announced this last week. The exercise is essential to strengthening collective air defence on NATO's eastern flank.

Defence supplies emergency pumps to the naval barracks on Curaçao and Aruba

Last week, the Netherlands Institute for Public Safety handed over 3 mobile water pumps to the naval fire brigade. The water pumps will soon be shipped to Curaçao and Aruba. These systems are intended for the naval barracks on the islands, but the local fire services will also be able to use them in the event of flooding.

Dutch F-16s guard and secure Benelux airspace for the last time

Since 1981, Dutch F-16 fighter aircraft have been on permanent stand-by for the Quick Reaction Alert task. This era has now come to an end. Airspace surveillance of Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg is now in the hands of 2 Dutch F-35s. The Netherlands alternates duties related to the QRA task with Belgium.