Dutch marines leaving corps over barracks move

Dutch amphibious soldiers of NLMARSOF surfacing in hostile territory
Dutch amphibious soldiers of NLMARSOF surfacing in hostile territory. Photo: Rijksoverheid.nl / Wikimedia Commons

Dutch marines are leaving the corps in large numbers out of dissatisfaction about their barracks relocating from Doorn to Vlissingen in 2022. In the first quarter of this year, 73 marines left he corps - three times as many as in previous years, ANP reports.

The marines are worried that their partners won't be able to find work in Vlissingen, and if they bought a house there, they won't be able to sell it again. Other complaints include that the new location has too few gun ranges, and that they will not be able to practice enough due to noise problems. 

The Ministry of Defense is relocating the barracks because it had become too small, according to the news wire. 

"If this continues, there will soon no longer be a corps to relocate", Bert van de Wakker, chairman of the Marine Corps' representative committee, said to the Volkskrant. According to him, the non-commissioned officers will be particularly difficult to replace. "So you can imagine that the backbone of our corps is slowly disappearing."

On Tuesday morning Prime Minister Mark Rutte called the high number of departures at the corps "very worrying", speaking on program Goedemorgen Nederland. "They are people who do incredibly important work in the Netherlands." He added, however, that it is not yet certain that the marines are leaving only because of the relocation. 

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