HNLMS Pelikaan arrived in Suriname November 22nd on the occasion of the 47th Independence Day (Srefidensi). The support ship for the Caribbean came from Curaçao and will be in the port of Paramaribo until Saturday.
Those on board the Pelican will take part in the military parade for Srefidensi on Friday. Brigadier General Jan Blacquiere, Director of International Military Cooperation, is also present.
After the visit, 3 Surinamese soldiers will sail to Curaçao for a period of 3 weeks. This way they can gain experience on board a Dutch naval vessel, learn from each other and improve cooperation.
With its presence at Srefidensi, the Ministry of Defense emphasizes the importance it attaches to renewed military cooperation with Suriname. In 2021, the Surinamese and Dutch defense ministers signed a letter of intent. Since then, military cooperation has greatly increased:
- In 2022, Dutch soldiers did jungle training in Suriname for the first time in years. They did this together with the Surinamese National Army.
- The 2 countries cooperate in the field of military music.
- Military School instructors received support in teaching techniques.
- A Dutch dental team participated in the Surinamese civil-military health care mission Gran Mati 2022 in Apoera to the west.
- Surinamese soldiers followed training in the Netherlands.
- Defense has made a number of material donations to the Surinamese National Army.
Both countries want to further strengthen military cooperation in the coming years. For example, it is the intention to hold the jungle training in Suriname in 2023 and 2024. In addition, there is even more intensive cooperation with the Surinamese National Army. The Netherlands also wants to contribute to Gran Mati again in 2023.
Ties are also being strengthened in the field of education and training. In addition to the support for the Military School for non-commissioned officers, the military academies for officers will cooperate. In addition, Surinamese military personnel will continue to receive training in the Netherlands.