A look at the Defence news 6 - 12 June

The Netherlands Air Force Open Days at Leeuwarden Air Base on 10 and 11 June drew 280,000 visitors. A summary of Defence news in the week of 6 - 12 June.

Huge crowds attended both days of the Air Force Open Days at Leeuwarden Air Base.

Huge crowds attended both days of the Air Force Open Days at Leeuwarden Air Base.

Air Force Open Days: 280,000 visitors and a new commander

Visitors enjoyed various demonstrations in the air and on the ground, with the stars of the show being the two Dutch F35 fighter aircraft. On Friday, the crowd witnessed the new Air Force Commander take office. Lieutenant General Dennis Luyt took over command of the Royal Netherlands Air Force from Lieutenant General Alexander Schnitger.

More munition and new mortars for Defence

Defence will receive more munition in the upcoming years, in order to strengthen the armed forces. Additionally,the current 81 mm and 60 mm mortars will be replaced by more modern types. Netherlands Minister of Defence Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert made an announcement to this effect on 10 June. The changing security situation also calls for a higher level of readiness, as stressed by NATO in the recently published Defence Planning Capability Review.

Patrouille de Suisse F5 crash lands in Friesland

A Northrop F5 fighter aircraft, used by the Swiss Patrouille de Suisse demo team, crash landed in the Frisian village of Bitgum, just over ten kilometres from Leeuwarden, on 9 June. The aircraft was practising for shows during the Air Force Open Days at the Frisian Air Base. The pilot was able to get to safety by using his ejection seat.

Marines pay last respects to British colleague

The remains of marine David Williams were reinterred in the protestant cemetery in Waspik on 8 June. The British marine lost his life on 5 February 1945 at the age of 22 near Waalwijk (Noord-Brabant) during a boat accident with two of his colleagues. A detachment from the Royal Marines carried Williams to his final resting place with military honours. At the request of their British counterpart, the Netherlands Marine Corps provided the music and a guard of honour during the ceremony. Williams was recovered and identified thanks to the Royal Netherlands Army's Recovery and Identification Service.

Video of the reinterring ceremony

Netherlands gets acquainted with F35

The F35 tour flight over the Netherlands on 7 June drew a lot of attention. The pilot, Colonel Bert de Smit, had a clear view of people stepping outside to catch a glimpse of the new fighter aircraft and to experience its sound for themselves. Among other locations, the F35 flew over Groningen, Maastricht, Kinderdijk, Scheveningen and Amsterdam.