Defence tasks for the Dutch Caribbean

The Netherlands is responsible for the implementation of the Defence tasks of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in the Caribbean. 

Military tasks in the Caribbean

The 800 armed forces personnel in the Caribbean are tasked with:

  • protecting the borders of the Caribbean part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands;
  • supporting civil authorities;
  • maintaining the (inter)national rule of law  in the context of, for example:
    • the international drug trade. Because of the location of its islands, the Caribbean is vulnerable to drug trafficking by sea. The navy is part of Joint Inter Agency Task Force South, an international organisation that conducts operations to counter drug trafficking.
    • military assistance. The navy’s military units provide humanitarian assistance or maintain public order following disasters or accidents caused by the passage of hurricanes, for example. Each year, the navy is on standby from 1 June to 1 December to perform these tasks.
    • illegal fishing and environmental offences. The navy supports the Dutch Caribbean Coastguard in conducting surveillance and taking action against illegal fishing and environmental offences. The navy also assists in search and rescue missions in Caribbean waters.

Video: The Marechaussee in the Caribbean

Police tasks for the Caribbean

The Royal Netherlands Marechaussee performs police tasks in the Dutch Caribbean. They serve the Dutch military personnel on the islands and the personnel of the Curaçaoan and Aruban Militias, and carry out duties at military facilities. The navy also assists in the training and instruction of the Curaçao and Aruban Militias.

The Royal Netherlands Marechaussee performs a number of other tasks in the Caribbean:  

  • Fighting crime in collaboration with the local police and the Coast Guard.
  • Border control on the islands of the Caribbean Netherlands.
  • All relevant police tasks at Flamingo Airport on Bonaire.
  • Performing basic police tasks on Saba and Sint Eustatius in collaboration with the police.
  • Assisting in border control and the monitoring of aliens on Curaçao, Sint Maarten and Aruba.
  • Fighting serious violent crime, drug-related crime and migration crime on Curaçao, Sint Maarten and Aruba.

Training and instruction

The navy als assists in the training and instruction of the Curaçao and Aruban Militias.