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Dutch defence forces to hold Caribbean exercise

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.

Zr Ms. Johan de Witt

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.

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