LifelinerOne From Netherlands, joined Nov 2003, 1963 posts, RR: 7 Posted (10 years 3 months 5 hours ago) and read 2403 times:
Dutch minister of Defense, Kamp, wants to increase the transportcapacity of the Royal Netherlands Air Force. He is aiming for more CH-47 Chinooks helicopters and C-130 Hercules planes and more crews for both types.
Without such a reinforcement, the RNLAF will always be stretched to it's transport limits Kamp said Tuesday after returning from a visit to the Dutch Marines in Afghanistan. The minister is believed to make his plans more concrete at the budgetmeetings in the parliament later this year.
The RNLAF originally possessed 13 Chinooks, but one of them went down in Afghanistan earlier this year. The MoD aims for a total of 17 or 18 CH-47's with extra personnel to handle them. With the current amount of staff available, the RNLAF isn't able to join in operations that last longer than one year.
The almost-in-command Lt-Gen De Jong said that operations in Afghanistan and Iraq made the need for airtransport more clearly than ever.
The fleet of two C-130's will be expanded with the planned one, but the MoD wants to add more. A third DC-10 will also be added next year. This plane will be used for passenger/freight only. The minister also wants more personnel for these planes in order to operate them efficiently.
What about them? We are still on strength with our F-16's. We've deployed our Fighting Falcons as far as Afghanistan in the last few months. We're also sufficiently equipped with AH-64's, which are patrolling in Afghanistan as well. Don't be afraid we will downcut ourselves, we are straight on target with the F-16 replacement with the JSF. We will do our NATO-tasks, as always!
However, the NATO is getting more and more involved in peace-keeping and humanitarian missions and therefore weapons aren't the number 1 thing needed, transport is.
GDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 13474 posts, RR: 77
Reply 5, posted (10 years 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 2334 times:
I'd hesitate to criticize the Netherlands, like everyone, they cut back after the USSR imploded, maybe in recent times too much, however they are generally an example to other smaller NATO nations, clearly investing in more transport as they have done since the Cold War finished, is a smart move.
Choices have to be made, for example more helos and transport, which you can be sure will be used, or keeping a full capability for the AF to track Russian subs?
Like Denmark, at least the Netherlands do a lot with limited resources, compare this to Belgium.
The Dutch, such as the pilots and the Marines, are highly regarded by their UK counterparts they often work with.