The Belgian and Netherlands navies under 1 command
The Dutch and Belgian navies have been working together since 1948. In that year, the 2 countries agreed that their navies would operate under single command during times of war. This informal agreement was formalised on 7 February 1996 and is valid during both peacetime and war.
The Commander of the Royal Netherlands Navy fulfils the position of Admiral Benelux. The operational commander of the Belgian navy acts as the Deputy Admiral Benelux. The Maritime Headquarters Benelux is located in Den Helder.
For years now, the navies of the Netherlands and Belgium have been working together in various areas, for example in materiel maintenance and combined training. The 2 navies use the same types of ships and helicopters. They view their cooperation as a win-win situation and it constitutes a textbook example of European bi-national cooperation.