A look at the Defence news 23 – 29 January

The Dutch F-16s protecting the airspace over Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania intercepted an Antonov-26 Curl and a Sukhoi-24 Fencer this week. Although the Russian aircraft were flying in international airspace, they were in airspace that falls under the responsibility of the Baltic states. A look at the Defence news 23 – 29 January.

Photo of the Russian Sukhoi-24 Fencer taken by the F-16 pilot.
Photo of the Russian Sukhoi-24 Fencer taken by the F-16 pilot.

Dutch F-16s are currently also deployed in Arizona on an international training exercise with the Dutch F-35 jets. The exercise will last until 11 March and is intended to increase the deployability of the Royal Netherlands Air Force. The fighter aircraft train in the United States because the large exercise terrains offer great opportunities and possibilities to practice various scenarios such as air engagement, supporting ground troops and flying in darkness.

Major army exercise in Poland kicks off with parade

Exercise Bison Drawsko 2017, taking place in Poland, kicked off with a parade of thousands of servicemen and women and heavy military materiel from participating countries. Military personnel from Belgium, Canada, Estonia, Germany, the Netherlands, Poland and the United States are taking part in the exercise, during which the Royal Netherlands Army and its allies will practice full-scale combat.

Patrol vessel Holland intercepts 220 kilos of cocaine

The Royal Netherland Navy’s patrol vessel HNLMS Holland seized 220 kilos of cocaine near the Windward Islands in the Caribbean.  A coastguard patrol aircraft spotted two suspicious vessels and reported their position to HNLMS Holland. The RNLN patrol vessel subsequently headed to that location and was able to seize the drugs.

Greek Minister of Defence visits Minister Hennis

Greek Minister of Defence Panos Kammenos spent two days in the Netherlands on the invitation of his Dutch counterpart Minister Hennis - Plasschaert. Hennis made clear that the Netherlands is determined to continue its support of Greece for the protection of Europe’s external borders. Deployment of the Dutch Border Security Team on the Greek island of Chios was recently extended by six months.

Patrol vessel Groningen escorts Russian convoy

Patrol vessel HNLMS Groningen recently escorted a Russian convoy through the Dutch part of the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) in the North Sea. The Russian fleet comprised three ships, one of which was the aircraft carrier RFS Kuznetsov.