Ministry of Defense

Mountain Leaders of the Dutch Marines reach the top of Mount Manaslu in the Himalayas, April 2016
Mar 27 '17 09:45

A very expensive mountain climbing expedition for seven Marines in Nepal led to outrage by many other members of the Marines. The trip, called "Expedition Manaslu" cost nearly a million euros, according to figures the Telegraaf received after appealing to the Freedom of Information Act.

Mar 22 '17 09:37

The leaders of the Dutch armed forces are divided about whether or not to combine the command of the Navy and Army's elite units. The merge is intended to increase speed and efficiency, but mutual distrust and fear of losing power are standing in the merge's way, the Telegraaf reports.

In practice the Army and Navy elite units already work together very often, but their command posts are still separated. The marines fall under the command or the Commander of the Naval Forces and the commandos under his counterpart in the army.

Dutch soldiers
Mar 10 '17 09:55

The state of the Dutch armed forces is extremely worrying, according to advisory council on international affairs AIV in an advice report to the cabinet titled 'Russia and the Dutch defense efforts'. According to the report, the "employability of the armed forces was further undermined this government term" and if the policy is not changed, the basic readiness of the army will only be back in order in 2021, NU.nl reports.

Geert Wilders surrounded by bodyguards, Spijkenesse Feb 2017
Mar 1 '17 08:32

An elite team of soldiers was deployed to help protect PVV leader Geert Wilders, the Telegraaf reported on Wednesday based on its own sources. According to the newspaper, members of the Defense team Special Security Missions Brigade (BSB) have been guarding the PVV leader for a few days already.

The Ministry of Security and Justice would not confirm these reports to the newspaper. The Koninklijke Marechaussee, a policing force that forms part of the Dutch military, would also not comment on the matter. The BSB falls under the Koninklijke Marechaussee.

Feb 27 '17 15:15

So far the Ministry of Defense paid out more than 2.1 million euros to 309 employees and former employees who became ill after working with paint containing carcinogenic substance , a Defense spokesperson confirmed to NU.nl.

Feb 27 '17 10:01

From next year military conscription in the Netherlands will also apply to women, if the Dutch government has its way. This is a purely symbolic measure for equal treatment as conscription was suspended in 1997, ANP reports.

Since 1997 every boy gets a letter at age 17 to say that he has reached conscription age, though the letter does not oblige him to join the military. From next year girls will also get that letter. 

Feb 21 '17 08:02

Two thirds of Defense personnel have no confidence in the top military leadership, according to a survey of nearly 8,500 Defense employees by military unions AFMP, ACOM, VBM and KVMO. More than 84 percent say that Defense Minister Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert does not give them more confidence in the organization, the Telegraaf reports.

Hr. Ms. De Ruyter
Feb 13 '17 14:40

Three Dutch war ships that were sunk by the Japanese navy during the Battle of the Java Sea in 1942, are indeed missing from the seabed off the coast of Indonesia, the Ministry of Defense announced. The initial results of an investigation also shows traces of a salvage operation, AD reports.

Jan 20 '17 16:50

Defense Minister Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert thinks that the world would do better to judge new American president Donald Trump on his actions and not on his tweets. Trump's twitter activity "causes a lot of debate and headlines and I don't think the world benefits from it", she said, according to newspaper AD. 

Dutch soldiers
Jan 13 '17 09:00

Women, LGBT's and ethnic minorities often have negative experiences in the Dutch military because they differ from the white, heterosexual male norm, according to a report social and cultural planning office SCP published on Friday, NU.nl reports. 

Jan 4 '17 14:25

The Netherlands and Belgium are now working together to protect the Benelux air space. Luxembourg is also involved int he cooperation. Representatives of the three countries signed an agreement on this joint air space protection in December, NOS reports.

Dec 22 '16 14:00

A large number of parliamentarians are hesitating over extending the UN mission in Mali. They are concerned over a lack of air support to the Dutch troops there as there will be no access to fighting helicopters between March 1st and May 1st, the Volkskrant reports.

Dec 6 '16 10:31

Former Defense Minister Joris Voorhoeve is criticizing his distant successor Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert for saying that the Dutch mission in Srebrenica was a mission "that - already in advance - was impossible to do" in a speech on Veterans' Day. In a letter in the Volkskrant Voorhoeve writes that military leaders convinced the then Minister that the mission was feasible and therefore Hennis' statement is "evidently a mistake".

The Netherlands takes blackface to Africa - Sinterklaas and Zwarte Piet visit Dutch soldiers on an UN mission in Mali, 5 Dec 2016
Dec 6 '16 09:00

Dutch soldiers on a United Nations mission in Mali got a visit from Sinterklaas and two Zwarte Piets in their traditional blackface makeup on Monday, according to a photo the Ministry of Defense posted on Twitter. 

Dutch architecture in Indonesia - Bank Indonesia in Medan
Dec 2 '16 10:09

The Dutch government is discussing a proposal for a major new investigation into violence used by Dutch in Indonesia in the late 40's. This follows the results of years of research by historian Remy Limpach that found that "systemic violence" was used in the former Dutch East Indies, RTL Nieuws reports.

NATO logo
Dec 2 '16 08:28

Toxic chromium-6 paint was found in the former NATO armory near Almelo. The work space has been closed down and specialized company Dolmans Calmiteeiten Diensten is working on cleaning the place, AD reports.

According to a Defense spokesperson, the decision to do a "deep cleaning" was made last year. The cleaning was scheduled for this month. In anticipation for that, the building was again checked over and traces of chromium 6 were found. According to the spokesperson, the level of chromium 6 found in the building is below the legal limits.

Cyber security
Nov 30 '16 16:25

The Ministry of Defense is launching its Defense Cyber Commando (DCC) team next year, the Ministry announced on Wednesday. The unit consists about 80 officers who will focus on protecting the Netherlands' own digital networks, but can also carry out offensive attacks, ANP reports.

These offensive attacks could include switching off computers and weapon systems, or altimeters for aircraft, according to the news wire.

Nov 21 '16 12:50

Tom Middendorp, Chief of Defense, feels he should have intervened earlier in cuts to the Defense budget, he said in an interview with NRC. He blames himself for the effects now suffered as a result of the massive budget cuts over the past years.

Nov 17 '16 14:50

At least 3 thousand Defense employees and former employees at sites in Eygelshoven and Brunssum are suing the Dutch government for exposing them to toxic chromium-6 paint while knowing that it is dangerous, lawyer Rob Bedaux announced on Wednesday, according to the Volkskrant.

Nov 17 '16 07:45

The Dutch Ministry of Defense will get more money in the coming years, no matter who wins the elections in March next year. Almost all parliamentary parties think there were to many cutbacks on the Defense budget in recent years, was revealed during the parliamentary debate on that budget on Wednesday, NOS reports. 

Hr. Ms. De Ruyter
Nov 15 '16 16:30

The wreks of cruisers Hr. Ms. De Royter and Hr. Ms. Java and a large part of Hr. Ms Kortenaer - serving as the war graves of over 900 Dutch soldiers and some 250 Indonesian soldiers off the coast of Indonesia - disappeared for unknown reason, Defense Minister Jeanine Hennis Plasschaert wrote to Dutch parliament, RTL Nieuws reports.

Nov 10 '16 16:00

Defense company Thales deals with over 100 thousand cyber attacs a dy on various fronts ranging from computers on their network to employees' personal phones, CEO Gerben Edelijn said to BNR.

Oct 19 '16 11:15

The Dutch Ministry of Defense hired sports instructors to teach Dutch soldiers yoga. The Ministry hopes that yoga will help soldiers to deal better with stress and trauma

Oct 19 '16 10:33

On Monday the police arrested a Defense employee suspected of leaking police information to motorcycle gang No Surrender

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