After exactly 2 years, the Dutch Patriot mission in Turkey has come to an end. This afternoon, the Dutch mission's tasks were officially transferred to fellow NATO member Spain during a ceremony at Incirlik air base. The ceremony was attended by the Commander of the Royal Netherlands Army, Lieutenant General Mart de Kruif.
The systems deployed by the Defence organisation to help protect the Turkish city of Adana from possible air attacks from Syria had to be brought back to the Netherlands for a number of reasons. The continuous deployment of the systems means that major maintenance is now required, which cannot be carried out in the field. At the same time, the personnel of Defence Ground-based Air Defence Command need to be rested after their prolonged and demanding period of deployment in Turkey.