The Dutch Navy, Air Force and Army will all be participating in a “Caribbean Coast” humanitarian assistance exercise in St. Maarten, St. Eustatius, Saba, Curacao and Bonaire, September 9-19. The training will also address structuring good crisis communication as well as maintaining order and security in case of a natural disaster.
Navy ships Zr Ms. Snellius, Zr Ms. Groningen, Zr Ms. Pelikaan and Zr Ms. Johan de Witt will be involved. The latter is an amphibious vessel that will leave Den Helder in the Netherlands on August 26 to join the others already in the region.
The Air Force will be represented with three helicopters and the Army is deploying its supporting engineering, medical and civilian-military cooperation units. It concerns 700 troops in total.
The timing has to do with the height of the Atlantic hurricane season. Evacuating people in need, making hard-hit areas accessible, guarding public safety and
offering direct emergency relief to victims are among the specific drills.
The passage of record-strength Hurricane Irma over the Windward Islands in September 2017 again showed how important it is to be well-prepared for catastrophic events. The Defence Ministry practises so it can effectively help residents of the kingdom in such situations.
The Daily Herald.