A look at the Defence news 6 February – 12 February

‘From partnerships to ecosystems: combining our efforts for a more secure world’. This was the theme of the Future Force Conference in The Hague. A look at the Defence news 6 February – 12 February

Chief of Defence General Tom Middendorp.
Chief of Defence General Tom Middendorp received an unexpected guest on stage during the opening of the Future Force Conference. 'Pepper' the robot was very eager to join in the discussion on ecosystems.

With 1,200 visitors from 50 countries and 95 speakers, it was a high profile event in the international defence and security domain. During the 2-day happening, prominent leaders, thinkers and hands-on pioneers discussed the armed forces of the future. They also came up with solutions for a wide range of security issues. Visitors had the opportunity to go on a virtual reality experience in the ‘base of the future’ and also test an indestructible bike.

Keynote speaker and First Vice-President of the European Commission Frans Timmermans argued in favour of the European Commission ecosystem. “We do need defence. To protect our loved ones, of course, but beyond that, our way of life.” Netherlands Minister of Defence Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert called for all participants to join forces and thus turn the tide of unrest and insecurity. “On this tiny planet, we depend on each other like never before. Let us start behaving accordingly.”

Netherlands Minister of Defence visits military personnel in Mali

“The situation in Mali is fragile, but the Netherlands is still making a difference here.” This was the conclusion of the Netherlands Minister of Defence, Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert after a  2-day visit to the Dutch troops in Gao. She was accompanied by the President of the ‎Netherlands Court of Audit, Arno Visser.

At the end of last year, the House of Representatives agreed on an extension of the military contribution to Minusma till the end of 2017. The Dutch helicopters deployed to the area will, however, return to the Netherlands. The Apache attack helicopters are already back on home soil, and the Chinook transport helicopters will follow in March. From that point onwards, Germany will provide the helicopter capability to the UN mission.