Dutch contribution to Operation Display Deterrence, Turkey

Because of the rising tension around Iraq on 6 February 2003, the Turkish government asked the Netherlands to station 3 Patriot fire units in Turkey to defend its territory.

The Dutch government agreed to the request the next day and the 370-strong Dutch detachment left for Turkey in the second half of February. 2 Patriot batteries were stationed at Diyarbakir airbase, while the 3rd fire unit was stationed in the Turkish town of Batman. Each of the batteries in Diyarbakir was assigned 5 rocket launchers and the battery in Batman was equipped with 6.

2 types of missile

The detachment had the use of 2 types of missile: their own PAC-2 missile and a more modern missile provided by Germany for the duration of the operation. The detachment was operational by 2 March. The Ministry of Defence posted a liaison officer to the Turkish general staff in Ankara.

AWACS information

The Dutch Patriot systems had a range of 150 kilometres and were interchangeable with the American systems which were also in the area. 4 NATO AWACS radar aircraft (2 were already in Turkey on 24 February) provided the Dutch with information on allied air activity over Iraq. The NATO AWACS detachment included 16 Dutch personnel, both civilians and military. The operational deployment ended on 16 April and most of the Patriot detachment’s military personnel returned to the Netherlands on 1 May 2003.