It is possible that over 100 former Defense employees have died as a direct result of working with paint and grit containing the highly toxic and carcinogenic chromium-6, according to lawyer Rob Bedaux. He is representing around 100 other former Defense employees and will raise this issue in court on Tuesday, the Telegraaf reports.
Due to the high dollar rate, the Ministry of Defense may not have enough money to buy the last three of the 37 Joint Strike Fighter jets the government plans to purchase, State Secretary Barbara Visser of Defense wrote in a letter to the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, ANP reports.
The Ministry of Defense acknowledged that the Dutch fleet is struggling under equipment problems, following a report by independent website marineschepen.nl. Four air defense- and command frigates in the Dutch fleet can barely operate due to technical problems, according to the site.
Emergency services in Amsterdam will be performing training drills on how to deal with a terrorist attack in the Dutch capital on Wednesday and Thursday. The drills involve creating scenarios of terrorist attacks, and will be noticeable in various parts of the city.
The Dutch Ministry of Defense will pay tribute to the last still living Moluccan soldiers who fought for the Netherlands in the colonial army in Indonesia. The former soldiers will be received on De Zwalunberg estate and receive medals they are entitled to. They will also be recognized as veterans, ANP reports.
The municipality of Amsterdam, along with emergency services in the city and the Ministry of Defense, will be holding large anti-terrorism training drills in the city on November 8th and 9th. The aim of these exercises is to make sure all involved parties can work properly together should there be an attack in the Dutch capital, Het Parool reports.
The Ministry of Defense is recalling anti-tank ammunition and smoke grenades from the UN mission in Mali. Inspections done following a damaging report by the Dutch Safety Board about an accidental mortar grenade explosion that killed two Dutch soldiers, showed that these two types of ammunition were also stored at too high temperatures and may not be safe.
The Ministry of Defense is launching an investigation into a former soldier being sexually abused in 1982, a spokesperson confirmed to ANP. Ex-soldier Ronald Vreeburg says that he was abused by five other soldiers at the Royal Military school in Weert, Limburg when he was 17 years old.
According to Vreeburg, he reported the abuse to the peloton leadership after it happened, but he was not taken seriously. In 2015 he spoke to the Inspector General of the Armed Forces, and was told that the case was past its statute of limitations, the news wire reports.
The VVD, CDA, D66 and ChristenUnie are now really very almost done with their government agreement, ChristenUnie leader Gert-Jan Segers said to NOS on Friday afternoon. But he thinks the four parties will have to meet again on Monday.
There will be no meetings over the weekend. The ChristenUnie respects the Sunday rest. "And on Saturday I have other plans", Segers said to the broadcaster.
After over 200 days of government formation talks, the Rutte III cabinet's government agreement is as good as done. The VVD, CDA, D66 and ChristenUnie reached agreements on the last major issues and the agreement is expected to be presented next week. The new government plans to invest more in education, defense, police and sustainability, the Volkskrant reported on Wednesday night.
For the first time ever, Dutch soldiers are pressing charges against their employer. On Saturday five members of the Corps Commandos announced that they are pressing charges against the Ministry of Defense over a fatal accident in which Sander Klap was shot and killed during a training exercise in Ossendrecht last year. "If nothing changes, he died for nothing", one of the five soldiers said to newspaper AD on Tuesday.
Minister Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert of Defense will face the hardest parliamentary debate of her career on Tuesday afternoon. The Tweede Kamer will debate with her the conclusions of the Dutch Safety Board's investigation into a mortar grenade exploding during training in Mali last year, killing two Dutch soldiers. With parliamentarians being almost unanamously critical, the question is not only whether Hennis will survive this debate as Defense Minister, but also whether she will still have a position in the new Dutch government.
The Ministry of Defense "falls seriously short" in ensuring the safety of Dutch soldiers deployed to the UN mission in Mali, the Dutch Safety Board concluded in its investigation into an accident in which two Dutch soldiers were killed and another was injured when a mortar grenade exploded during a training exercise last year. Both the safety of the grenade and the medical care were not in order, ANP reports.
A mortar grenade that killed two Dutch soldiers during a training exercise in Mali last year was one of a thousand grenades that were unsafe - something the Ministry of Defense was aware of, Jean Debie, chairman of defense union VBM said to RTL Nieuws. If Defense followed its own safety procedures, 29-year-old Henry Hoving and 24-year-old Kevin Roggeveld would still be alive, Debie said. A third soldier sustained serious injuries.
Last year there were five investigations within the Dutch Armed Forces into possible radicalization of employees, ANP reports based on documents received from Defense at the news wire's request. Three of the investigations concluded that the involved employees were not radicalized. The other two are still ongoing.
The new Dutch government is giving an extra 1.5 billion euros to Defense, sources told the Telegraaf based on the financial plans the VVD, CDA, D66 and ChristenUnie sent to central planning office CPB. Two thirds of that money is for catching up on overdue maintenance, the rest for investment, according to the newspaper.
That the new government plans to push more money into Defense, comes as no surprise. During the campaigns preceding the parliamentary election in March, all parties except GroenLinks, SP and DENK said they wanted more money to go towards the Dutch armed forces.
A lack of equipment and training has the Netherlands' Corps Commandos in a bad position, RTL Nieuws reports based on a confidential assessment conducted by the Armed Forces. A number of training exercises have been suspended for months due to too little equipment. "The equipment is old and worn and therefore dangerous", the report reads, according to the broadcaster.
The Ministry of Defense is implementing stricter access control procedures for non-Defense personnel who want to enter a Defense barracks. This follows the arrest of a convicted jihadist at Volkel air base earlier this year, ANP reports.
On Tuesday King Willem-Alexander opened the Netherlands' parliamentary year with his traditional Budget Day speech. He talked about the devastation Hurricane Irma left of the Caribbean islands that form part of the Dutch Kingdom, terrorism around the world, the prosecution of those responsible for the MH17 disaster, and making sure that everyone in the Netherlands benefits from the improving economy, among other things.
The Ministry of Defense will be "under siege" from its own staff on Friday. Soldiers will block all entrances and exits of the Ministry's building in a labor action for better working conditions, the military unions announced, ANP reports.
Defense's military and civilian workers have been without a collective bargaining agreement since 2013, according to the news wire. Negotiations for a new agreement stranded in the spring. The unions rejected a final offer by the Ministry, which included a wage increase of 2 percent and money for training.
King Willem-Alexander will visit Sint Maarten, Sint Eustatius and Saba on Monday to see the aftermath of Hurricane Irma with his own eyes, Minister Ronald Plasterk of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations said on Curacao on Sunday afternoon, ANP reports.
Hurricane Irma took at least six lives on Saint-Martin, the French part of the island that also includes Sint Maarten, broadcaster Franceinfo reported on behalf of the French government. Thus far no information is available about victims in the Dutch part of the island, the Telegraaf reports.
Hurricane Irma is expected to hit the islands of Sint Maarten, Sint Eustatius and Saba, all part of the Dutch Kingdom, at noon on Wednesday (Netherlands time), according to NU.nl. The hurricane is considered a class five hurricane, the fiercest category on the Saffir-Simmpson scale. With wind speeds of 295 kilometers per hour measured, Irma is in the top 5 of fiercest Atlantic hurricanes, RTL Nieuws reports.
The hurricane will hit Antigua and Barbuda on Wednesday morning. The authorities on the two Caribbean islands called on residents to seek shelter.