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.
The story can be read (in Dutch) at http://www.nu.nl/news/582462/11/Kamp...er_helikopters_en_vliegtuigen.html