The tasks of the Royal Netherlands Army

The Royal Netherlands Army’s land operations contribute to peace, freedom and security in the Netherlands and abroad. The Army is able to perform its tasks thanks to its professional and well-trained military personnel. They push on where others stop. They conduct combat operations under the most extreme circumstances, provide humanitarian aid and lend support during disasters. 

What does the Royal Netherlands Army do in the Netherlands?

The Army defends Dutch territory and responds to incidents and crises. This Service acquires plenty of experience during missions abroad.

In the Netherlands, the Army is responsible for:

  • defending the territory of the Netherlands. This includes protection against attacks from countries or groups on power stations, water companies or computer systems.
  • providing assistance in the event of disasters in the Netherlands. Government authorities regularly call upon the Army for assistance, because they have a need for military materiel or expertise. Examples of such situations are floods or the outbreak of cattle plagues.
  • providing support to social organisations. It is not their most important task, but the Army also lends support to social organisations. Army brigades based in Dutch provinces assess whether or not the public interest outweighs the efforts of any assistance to be rendered.

What does the Royal Netherlands Army do abroad?

The army often cooperates with the other Services of the Netherlands armed forces or with foreign army units during missions abroad. The foreign army units are often from European or NATO Allies.

The tasks of the army when working outside the Netherlands include:

  • defending the territory of NATO Allies;
  • peacekeeping or peace enforcement;
  • providing humanitarian aid;
  • supporting the local population and local civil organisations.

The future of land operations

The Army is prepared for anything that may happen in the future: from political changes to new military operational methods. This is described in the Army document ‘Deciding the battle, building security'. This document shows the planned developments in land operations up to the year 2020.

As a follow-up to the 'Defence White Paper', the document 'Vision of the Army - Security through Foresight' describes how the Army envisage its future role in the security domain and the path it will take to get there.