A look at the Defence news 26 June – 2 July

Simpler, improved and more efficient air defence. That was the result of the largest and most advanced air defence exercise in Europe: Joint Project Optic Windmill. Defence against ballistic missiles was trained using simulated ground-based and maritime weapon systems, weapon systems under development and simulated aircraft. Denmark, Germany, Finland, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Spain, the United States and Sweden participated in the exercise.

Men gathered around computers.
One of the many 'cells' during Joint Project Optic Windmill. Soldiers simulate air defence.

Germany and Norway join the Multi-Role Tanker Transport project

Germany and Norway are contributing to the procurement of the Airbus tanker/transport aircraft. The German and Norwegian Defence ministers signed the papers in Brussels. The Netherlands has the lead on this European cooperation project.

F-16s and army corps on stand-by for NATO

As of 1 July, 4 Netherlands F-16 fighter aircraft will be on stand-by for the Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF). This spearhead force is part of NATO’s rapid intervention force, the NATO Response Force (NRF).

The German-Dutch army corps is also on stand-by as of 1 July. It will come into action next year if NATO needs a Joint Task Force Headquarters (Land) to carry out missions anywhere in the world.

Hennis wants ‘military Schengen Area’

During the meeting of NATO Ministers of Defence in Brussels, the Netherlands Minister of Defence Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert called for a ‘military Schengen Area’ in Europe, within which military personnel and materiel can be quickly moved throughout Europe without being hindered by problems crossing borders or administrative procedures.