Middendorp strengthens ties with Germany
“International cooperation is of essential importance for the Defence organisation’s military capabilities. It is not a matter of choice but a matter of pure necessity. The Netherlands cannot do everything in isolation. Cooperation with other countries, bilateral and in the framework of NATO, is therefore crucial. It is more efficient and increases our military effectiveness”, said Netherlands Chief of Defence Tom Middendorp during his visit to the Inspector General of the German Bundeswehr, Volker Wieker.
The 2 generals reaffirmed the close ties between the German and Dutch militaries in a personal meeting.
Germany, like Belgium and Luxembourg (which were visited by Middendorp at an earlier stage) is a strategic partner of the Netherlands. The Netherlands Defence organisation, with its long record of close cooperation with the German military in many different areas, wishes to expand and deepen its partnership with Germany.
Currently, 1 German-Netherlands Corps is the main pillar of this cooperation, but efforts are underway to further intensify combined Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD). Furthermore, possibilities for the procurement and operation of, and operational training for Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) are being investigated.
The heart of German-Dutch cooperation, the 1 German Netherlands Corps, is a NATO headquarters that can rapidly come into action for NATO deployments, and was established in 1995. Middendorp and Wieker emphasised the importance of keeping the headquarters at the forefront and discussed possibilities for further development. In 2013, the multinational headquarters will be deployed in Afghanistan. This was previously the case in 2003 and 2009.
Another topic of discussion was the current mission in Afghanistan. Germany is responsible for the ISAF mission in the northern provinces of Afghanistan. In Kunduz province, Afghan policemen are trained and coached by Dutch military personnel. German units in the region provide the Dutch contingent with force protection. Furthermore, 4 Dutch F-16s are stationed at Mazar-e Sharif, where the Germans have their headquarters