Soldiers of the Dutch 11th Airmobile Brigade during an exercise in Zaragoza, Spain stay low to the ground after being dropped by a CH 47 Chinook helicopter. (Ministerie van Defensie)
May 28, 2013 defense-aerospace.com
(Source: TheTrumpet.com; published May 27, 2013)
Dutch Paratroopers Integrated Into German Army (excerpt)
A brigade of Dutch paratroopers will be integrated into a new German division of rapid reaction forces, German newspaper Rheinische Post reported on May 22. The 11th Airmobile Brigade—a mobile force of 4,500 troops that is equipped with light vehicles, mortars and anti-aircraft systems—will join 8,600 German soldiers to form the new division under German command.
With paratroopers and special forces, as well as combat and transport helicopters, the group is designed to respond quickly to new threats and help evacuate endangered German and Dutch citizens. Until now, only Britain and America had a similar type of military structure.
The Dutch brigade could be deployed anywhere in the world within 20 days. The new force will presumably have a similar sort of response time.
The Dutch De Telegraaf newspaper revealed that drastic cuts to the Dutch military budget were partially responsible for the merger. The Dutch forces won’t leave their bases in the Netherlands, but the joint procurement and training with Germany will save money.
The merger is seen as a major step for the Netherlands. However, the Netherlands has only one Airmobile Brigade. If it needs to deploy troops in a hurry, it will only be able to do so with German cooperation.
This is not the first Dutch-German initiative. The I. German/Dutch Corps is made up of one Dutch and one German division. The corps is a high-readiness land force designed to be able to deploy within 20 to 30 days.
Many nations, particularly Britain, have been reluctant to pool their military resources. But with Britain shifting toward the fringes of the EU, military cooperation among the other states is becoming more feasible. (end of excerpt)
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