The Dutch contribution to the Patriot mission in Turkey
The Netherlands deployed 2 Patriot complexes to protect people in Turkey and Turkish territory against possible missile attacks from Syria. The complexes were deployed solely for defensive purposes.
Over 200 Dutch service members and their Patriot complexes protected Adana’s 2 million inhabitants. The mission began on 26 January 2013. On 15 November 2015, the Dutch cabinet decided to extend the mission by a year - that is, until the end of January 2015 - because of a Turkish request to NATO.
The Patriot complexes were deployed solely to protect people in Turkey and Turkish territory against attacks from Syria. They were not used to support a no-fly zone and were also not used for offensive action. During the 2-year deployment, Dutch military personnel identified several launches from and impacts within Syrian territory. None of the missiles were aimed at Turkey.
The Dutch units operated from Adana’s civil airport in southern Turkey and from nearby Incirlik Air Base. The command centre was located at the air base.
Patriot missile system designed for defensive tasks
The Patriot missile system is capable of providing protection from ground level up to an altitude of approximately 20 kilometres. In addition to providing a defensive capability against attacking aircraft and helicopters, the system was designed to counter missiles.
Mission not extended
In August 2014, the Dutch cabinet decided against extending the Patriot mission because of the reduced likelihood of missile attacks from Syria and the heavy burden on equipment and personnel. Major maintenance could not be carried out in Turkey. The systems also required modernisation, a process that could only be completed in the Netherlands. The last service members to leave Turkey arrived in the Netherlands on 26 January 2015.
This is a provisional description of the mission provided by the Ministry of Defence’s media centre. The Netherlands Institute of Military History (NIMH) will publish a final version at a later date.