On Saturday 29 June, the Netherlands thanked all Dutch military veterans for their service to their country during Veterans Day in The Hague. "I can’t express how grateful I am. A big thank you to our active servicemen and women who protect what is dear to us”, said Minister of Defence Ank Bijleveld-Schouten. The parade past King Willem-Alexander, comprising thousands of veterans and current military personnel, was one of the highlights of Veterans Day. The participation of a detachment made up entirely of female air force veterans, some retired and others still active, was a special feature of the parade. Female military veterans were in the spotlight, as women were first admitted to the Netherlands armed forces 75 years ago.
The Netherlands Defence Doctrine (NDD) has been revised. The rewrite was instigated in order to address current developments in the global situation and current threat levels. The doctrine sets out the principles that underpin the deployment of the armed forces. The first copy was presented to Chief of Defence Admiral Rob Bauer on 19 June.
After a 3 year absence, the Royal Netherlands Air Force Days are back. Dutch air power presented itself to the general public at Volkel Air Base under the theme ‘Wij zijn de luchtmacht’ [We are the Air Force]. A quarter of a million spectators visited the Open Days, where there was much to see and admire, not only in the air but also on the ground. The sudden appearance on the scene of the F-35 typifies the rapid progress that has been made during the past few years.
On 6 June 2019, more than 300 mostly young military personnel and 3 military veterans, who served in the Royal Netherlands Army’s Prinses Irene Brigade 75 years ago, were in Arromanches in France to commemorate the events that took place on D-Day.
The government is to provide Defence with additional funding amounting in structural terms to €162 million a year. This annual amount will increase to €461 million. By 2024, a total amount of €1.5 billion will have been released. This additional funding will be used to invest in personnel and meet the agreements made in a NATO context.
An agreement has been reached to simplify regulations regarding cross-border military transport within the EU. 26 Member States, including the Netherlands, signed the document in Brussels. The first serious step in the Military Mobility project, which was initiated by the Netherlands, has now been taken.
Former Chief of Defence Tom Middendorp (ret’d) made a speech on 9 May at the first meeting of the OSCE Structured Dialogue working group at the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in Vienna.
After 5 years, the Netherlands has ended its contribution to UN mission Minusma. Close to 6,000 Dutch military personnel set foot in the copper-coloured desert of Mali. Their most important task was conducting (long distance) reconnaissance missions to collect information for the headquarters in Bamako. A 100-member redeployment team has started the dismantling of the Dutch camp in Gao.