A look at the Defence news 15 – 21 February

The Royal Netherlands Navy's strongest tugboat in its long history arrived in Den Helder on 20 February. A summary of the Defence news in the week of 15 – 21 February.

Photo: the new tug of the Royal Netherlands Navy, the Noordzee.

Photo: the new tug of the Royal Netherlands Navy, the Noordzee.

Tug adds innovative muscle to the Royal Netherlands Navy

The tug, Noordzee, is one of three hybrid tugs in a class of the same name. The tugs have a tensile force of 60 tonnes, compared to the 22 tonnes of the current Linge tugs. The extra tensile strength is needed to assist even the largest vessels, such as the logistic support ship HNLMS Karel Doorman, into harbour whatever the wind speed.

Middendorp in Canada for conference and veterans

The rapidly changing world calls for adaptability, situational understanding and innovation, and each aspect plays a role in solving the world's problems. Chief of Defence Tom Middendorp made this statement during the Ottawa Conference on Security and Defence in Canada on 19 February. During his visit, he also laid a wreath in the War Museum in Ottawa and met and thanked eight Canadian veterans for their efforts during the Second World War.

Defence to permanently measure F-35 noise levels

The noise levels of the new F-35 fighter aircraft will be monitored around the Leeuwarden and Volkel Air Bases. The measurements are expected to start during the course of 2017. In this way, experience can be gained in anticipation of the arrival of the F-35 in 2019. Defence intends to bring an F-35 to the Netherlands for noise-level test flights late May or early June 2016.

Military personnel honoured for exemplary efforts in Afghanistan and Syria

On 17 February, nine army personnel were presented the Operational Deployment Award, a small sculpted bronze figure and a Silver Ribbon of Honour. Eight of the military personnel had served in Afghanistan (2007) and one had served in Syria as a UN observer (2013). "They kept watch over the safety of colleagues and allies for months," explained Lieutenant General Mart de Kruif. "They risked their lives in the firing line and took action at the crucial moment."

Middendorp emphasises transparency of and compliance with agreements

On 16 February, General Tim Middendorp expressed his concern about the safety of the European continent during the five-yearly High Level Military Doctrine Seminar in Vienna. "Large-scale military exercises and suspicion are all around us," he commented. During his presentation, Middendorp questioned how it is possible that this could happen in modern-day Europe. He emphasised the importance of transparency of and compliance with agreements.