Greetje Groenbroek, the mother of one of two soldiers killed in a mortar grenade explosion in Mali last year, plans to take legal action against the Ministry of Defense. On Thursday the Dutch Safety Board concluded that the grenades used in the UN mission in Mali were unsafe and that the medical treatment available to soldiers there is not in order.
Next week Minister Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert of Defense will face the Tweede Kamer in a debate about a faulty grenade that cost the lives of two Dutch soldiers, and seriously injured a third, in Mali last year.
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.
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.
The military department of the court in Arnhem is handling a case on Thursday involving a female soldier being sexually assaulted by a male soldiers, as two of their colleagues filmed the incident. The assault happened at the Luitenant-generaal Best barracks in Vredepeel in October last year, the Telegraaf reports.
The two soldiers ended up in the same room after a night out. The young woman could not get into her own accommodations and asked her male colleague if she could spend the night in his room, according to the newspaper.
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.
The Dutch Ministers involved in providing aid to the islands affected by Hurricane Irma on Wednesday, are meeting in the National Crisis Center in The Hague at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday morning. The main purpose of this meeting is to map what aid exactly the islands of Sint Maarten, Saba and Sint Eustatius need, Minister Ronald Plasterk of Home Affairs and Kingdom relations said to broadcaster NOS.
In January the Netherlands will again deploy F-16 fighter jets to fight in the coalition against terrorist organization ISIS in Syria and Iraq, sources confirmed to the Telegraaf. A total of six jets will be sent, four for fighting and two as reserve, and they will be stationed at the Al-Azraq airbase in Jordan, according to the newspaper.
The Netherlands' intelligence services and Defense are not adequately prepared to map and face digital threats from abroad, Brigadier General Wilfred Rietdijk said to the Volkskrant. He specifically warns against fake news, naming Russia in particular. According to Rietdijk, the Netherlands must establish a new, specialized organization for identifying these threats and preparing for an "information war".
If go-slow actions at the airports in Eindhoven and Rotterdam this week don't push the Ministry of Defense to come up with a better collective agreement for Koninklijke Marechaussee officers, labor actions at Schiphol airport may be the next step, the Marechaussee unions announced, Het Parool reports.
Two loud bangs caused some panic in Zeeland around 10:15 p.m. on Monday night. According to the police, a large number of people called emergency line 112. The bangs were caused by two F-16 fighter jets breaking the sound barrier on their way to intercept a passenger plane that did not contact air traffic control.
Travelers departing from the airports in Eindhoven and Schiphol today may face longer lines at the passport checks due to labor actions by the Koninklijke Marechaussee, a policing force that works as part of the Dutch military and is responsible for border protection, including at airports and harbors.
The joint unions of Defense personnel are planning labor actions twice this week. Friday's action may result in longer than usual queues at the airports in Eindhoven and Rotterdam, ANP reports.
On Friday the Koninklijke Marechaussee will perform extra strict and thorough passport checks at these airports. This may cause longer queues and extra inconvenience for passengers. The Koninklijke Marechaussee is a policing force that works as part of the Dutch military and is responsible for border security, including at airports and harbors.
Two Iraqis hit in air strikes while fleeing from Mosul on January 26th, 2015, want to know whether Dutch F-16s were involved. Lawyer Liesbeth Zegveld asked for clarification from Defense Minister Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert in a letter sent to NRC on Thursday.
Four Dutch soldiers that form part of the NATO battalion in Lithuania, were sent back to the Netherlands after they were arrested for involvement in a drunken fight, according to newspaper Trouw.
The special forces training for the Corps Commando troops was halted to a large extend due to concerns for their safety, according to a mail from the highest leader of the commandos that RTL Nieuws has in its possession. Commander Groen wrote the mail to his immediate superior, Commander of the armed forces Leo Beulen. In it he wrote that he has no confidence that the security procedures of the trainings are in order, according to the broadcaster.
Dutch companies, government institutions and citizens are not responding fast enough against growing digital threats, according to National Coordinator for Counterterrorism and Security Dick Schoof. At home and at work Dutch people often opt for the fastest solution, instead of the most secure one. Which means that the gap between threats and security measures is getting larger instead of smaller, Schoof said in the Netherlands Cyber Security Image 2017, ANP reports.
A "disturbed white man" stole an army truck from the Oirschot military base and took it for a joyride through Eindhoven, Defense Minister Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert said to parliament on Wednesday. The 21-year-old man from Veldhoven brought the truck back later that night and was arrested. He is still in custody, ANP reports.
The Koninklijke Marechaussee may soon be performing go-slow labor actions at Schiphol and other airports during peak summer times in protest against their new employment conditions. These actions can cause major delays during the summer peak, the unions for the armed forces announced, Het Parool reports.
When he was Minister of Defense, CDA politician Hans Hillen hid details about a major corruption scandal involving the purchase of Defense cars from the lower house of parliament, the Tweede Kamer, he admitted to NRC. "If I reported all details about such matters to the Kamer, I would not have time to run the armed forces", he said to the newspaper.
While investigating a bribery scandal in the procurement of police and defense vehicles, the Public Prosecutor did not look into possible criminal action by then Defense Minister Henk Kamp, Nieuwsuur reports based on the criminal file. Lower level officials are facing criminal charges and were dismissed for similar actions, according to the news program.