Marines will quit over barracks move, commander warns

Dutch amphibious soldiers of NLMARSOF surfacing in hostile territory
Dutch amphibious soldiers of NLMARSOF surfacing in hostile territory. (Photo: / Wikimedia Commons )

The majority of Dutch marines will resign if their barracks are moved from Doorn to Vlissingen, the commander of the Marine Corps warned in the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, on Thursday, RTL Nieuws reports.

"This move comes at the expense of the safety of my staff, at the expense of the welfare of my staff and their home front, and at the expense of the operational product of the Marine Corps", Brigadier General Jeff Mac Mootry said in the Kamer. According to him, of the 252 young officers, 209 indicated that they would consider resigning if the barracks is moved.

The General called the fact that so many experienced marines are considering career changes very concerning. These officers are crucial for missions, he said. "An experienced sergeant just knows if he has to go to the left or the right on a path. That is exactly the difference between whether a group of six marines walk into an ambush by the Taliban or not. That is my great concern."

The decision to move the marines from Doorn to Vlissingen was made in 2012, because the barracks in Doorn are too small and there's no room for expansion. The marines themselves are vehemently against this move, worrying that their partners won't be able to find work in Vlissingen, among other things.  

According to the Brigadier General, there is room to expand in Doorn. And in Doorn the training grounds are close by, while that is not the case in Vlissingen.