Dutch Increase HADR Operations in the Bahamas

September 7, 2019 (Google Translation) – The Netherlands is sending extra soldiers to the Caribbean to support emergency aid to the Bahamas. On Saturday afternoon, 76 Marines departed from Eindhoven Air Base with a KDC-10 transport aircraft from the Royal Netherlands Air Force to Sint Maarten.

The Marines are part of the 21st Raiding Squadron of the Marine Corps. They currently stand as the so-called Marine Spearhead Task Unit permanent standby for emergency deployment at home and abroad. The soldiers board Sintr on Sint Maarten. HNLMS Johan de Witt, who together with HNLMS Snellius is being prepared for emergency assistance.

With the additional marines, approximately 550 Dutch soldiers from the navy, army, air force and Marechaussee will soon be deployed for emergency aid to the Bahamas. In addition, there are 50 French and 50 German soldiers aboard HNLMS Johan de Witt. They were already on board in connection with the Caribbean Coast emergency relief exercise , which is now giving way to actual emergency assistance.

Johan de Witt is an amphibious transport ship. It is a port, airport and storage location in one. It has a large deck for vehicles and relief supplies, medical personnel from the army and an internal dock where boats can sail in and out. In addition, there are 2 Cougar transport helicopters from the Defense Helicopter Command, a marines unit with 2 FRISC boats and 4 landing craft. There are also army soldiers of the genius on the ship, a army unit that specializes in civil-military operations and 2 specialist diving teams.

Snellius is a hydrographic survey vessel equipped with advanced sonar equipment to map underwater damage, shipwrecks and other blockages. It can therefore play a role in making ports in the Bahamas accessible again.