The Dutch contribution to NATO Verification Mission and Extraction Force (EF)

The Dutch government agreed as early as 4 October 1998 to supply an engineer company, a helicopter detachment, a support unit (National Support Element) and staff personnel to the EF, but it was not until 2 months later that it agreed to the participation of 30 unarmed observers in the KVM and of a P-3C Orion patrol aircraft in the NATO mission.

Engineer company

The engineer company numbered 85 military personnel and left on 15 December 1998 for Petrovec airport, which was located near Skopje, the capital of Macedonia. The company’s task was to build an encampment there along with the necessary infrastructure. The engineers returned home on 20 April.


A 54-strong Royal Netherlands Air Force (RNLAF) detachment with 3 CH-47 Chinook transport helicopters joined the engineers on 14 and 15 January 1999. In the space of a few months, the number of military personnel in the detachment rose to 146, including more than 50 personnel for security tasks. The entire detachment was flown to Farke in Albania on 17 May to provide humanitarian relief as part of Operation Allied Harbour.