dinsdag 27 november 2012

Dutch Chief of Defense Visits the United States

Chief of Defence General Tom Middendorp held an introductory visit with America’s highest serviceman, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey and met with members of the Atlantic Council, in Washington DC.

In addition, he opened the “American Falcon” training exercise in Texas, a realistic air and army units exercise  supported by American defense personnel stationed at Fort Hood in Texas.

Generals Dempsey and Middendorp

The cooperation between the Netherlands and the United States was strongly emphasized during  General Middendorp’s first meeting with General Dempsey. They discussed education and training issues in the United States, the current deployment of the armed forces and security field developments.

At a meeting at the Atlantic Council, General Middendorp spoke about the Dutch experiences and developments in the field of international and cited the extensive collaboration between the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany. The Atlantic Council Board praised the Netherlands for its  pragmatic way of cooperation, aimed at making progress.

The Dutch-American cooperation is constantly evolving. About 150 members of 11 Airmobile Brigade and the Commando Corps participate with U.S. units participating in this American Falcon. This 5-week air assault exercise takes place 5 times a year at the army base in Fort Hood, Texas. General Middendorp spoke with U.S. Lieutenant General Donald Campbell (Commander III Corps) on the exercise and thanked him for the support.

Blind Trust
"In joint missions we need to be able to trust each other blindly,” explains Middendorp. Exercises like American Falcon play an important role in  the readiness of the Dutch deployment. “This huge training area offers virtually unlimited training options compared with the Netherlands, with weather conditions we do not know. Here we can practice all day long all year round. It gives me the opportunity to prepare my people for deployment in Iraq and Afghanistan to the maximum extent.”

Permanently Stationed
Air assault is the most intensive and complex form of cooperation between ground and air units. This requires good coordination between ground and air units and regular training. That is why the Joint Netherlands Training Detachment (JNTD), consisting of 23 army and air force troops, is permanently stationed at Fort Hood since the beginning of this year. There are also eight Apache attack helicopters and more recently two new Chinook F-transport helicopters of the Royal Air Force, and a third is on the way.

(Netherlands Embassy, Washington, 27 November 2012)

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