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Korps Mariniers / The Marine Corps

The Royal Netherlands Marine Corps is part of the Navy. It is a versatile and rapidly deployable expeditionary force that can be sent in to defend the territory of NATO countries, control crises, keep peace and provide humanitarian assistance. The Marine Corps is an expeditionary, rapidly deployable and diverse crisis management instrument, specialised in carrying out amphibious operations with light infantry units. The marines can be deployed for long periods of time, in all climatic and geographical conditions and for a wide array of tasks. To prepare the marines for these operations, the training program includes mountain, cold-weather and jungle training.

The Marine Corps was established in 1665 by Michiel de Ruyter and Johan de Witt, during the Anglo-Dutch Wars. It has been part of the Royal Netherlands Navy ever since, operating anywhere in the world. The motto QUA PATET ORBIS (Wherever the World Extends) symbolises the service of the Corps throughout the world during its long history. The Dutch Marines distinguished themselves both at sea and in raids on the English coast, where it is likely that they met their British counterparts. During the War of the Spanish Succession, when the two countries were allies, it was a combined force of British and Dutch Marines, under Prince George of Hesse-Darmstadt, which captured Gibraltar in 1704.

Today the Royal Netherlands Marine Corps, the Korps Mariniers, is the senior corps in the Netherlands armed forces. An amphibious force with similar functions to the Royal Marines. It provides an Amphibious Combat Group in the Netherlands Antilles, in addition to its major commitment with the United Kingdom/Netherlands Landing Force, with which it deploys a further Amphibious Combat Group, a Special Boats Section and a Landing Craft Detachment. This integration and co-operation, unique in NATO, was seen in 1991 during operations in Eastern Turkey and Northern Iraq.

The Marine Corps consists of approximately over 3,000 marines [up from 2,800 marines]. The Marine Corps is an expeditionary, rapidly deployable and multifaceted crisis management instrument, specialised in carrying out amphibious operations with light infantry units. The marines are deployable for long periods of time, under all climatological and geographical conditions.

Military operations at a relatively large distance from the home port and carried out by the Royal Netherlands Navy are referred to as maritime expeditionary operations. Such operations can be divided into two main groups: sea-oriented tasks (at sea) and land-oriented tasks (from the sea). The land-oriented component is provided by the operational units of the Marine Corps. These units consist of:

  • two marine battalions 1MARNSBAT and 2MARNSBAT (each with approx. 650, up from 530 marines);
  • one Logistic battalion (Doorn);
  • one amphibious combat support battalion
  • one cCombat Support Battalion (Doorn) (including combat field support and special units);
  • one Amphibious Support Battalion (Texel)
  • one Maneuver battalions (Doorn)
  • Marine Intervention Unit (Doorn)
  • 31 Infantry Company (Curaao)-
  • 32 Infantry Company (Aruba)

The operational units of the Marine Corps were recently reorganised in the context of the overall Navy Review. As a result, each one of the marine battalions was being strengthened to approximately 650 marines. The logistics battalion was reorganised in order to further improve its logistics support to the marine battalions, while the combat support battalion and the amphibious support battalion were combined into one amphibious combat support battalion, thus increasing the overall available capacity.

This extensive reorganisation was completed in mid-2010. By that time, the operational units of the Marine Corps were stationed on Texel, in Doorn and in Den Helder. With the addition of the last location, Den Helder, the integration between fleet and marines was strengthened even further, thus reinforcing the implementation of the Navy-Marine Corps Team concept like never before. In addition, operational units are stationed in the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba.

The Marines Intervention Unit is part of the Dutch anti-terrorist capability and was previously known as the Marines Special Support Unit (BBE). The Marines Special Support Unit was created in 1973 following the hostage-taking incident during the Olympic Games in Munich. The Special Interventions Service (DSI) was created in 2006 to support the establishment of a Dutch anti-terrorist capability, and the Marines Special Support Unit was transformed into the current Marines Intervention Unit. The marines in the unit are trained to intervene in hostage-taking incidents and illegal occupations of (or near) buildings, airplanes, ships and trains.

The Korps Mariniers forms the `long arm' of the fleet. Mariniers are pre-eminently suited and are equipped to be the first to set foort on the land from the sea. Under all circumstances and any where in the world, Mariners meet these and other requirements. Mariniers are meant to bring security to the country from the sea. That means that they must get in mostly as a first in (possible) crisis areas to offer aid and protection to the population, to separate warringparties, or to intervene. Mariniers can are used from operating bases in the country or also by air.

Marines generally cooperate with international partners and, depending on the circumstances, also more and more with countries and air power it is concerned. For the internal security narrow is cooperated with the police force and the military police within the service special interventions (DSI). As an amphibious trained, light infantry mariniers has been pre-eminently arranged for action in practicable with difficulty area, such as mountains and jungle, where (heavy) wheels and armoured conveyors have restrictions. This speciality stands guarantor that mariniers is everywhere in the world active: from South America to the Far East and from Africa to above the pole circle and that as from the rising tide line to on the highest mountain tops. Mostly happens that under primitive circumstances with few resources to fall back on because on that there are there simply not yet or donot can come. For this reason mariniers have a relatively small logistical `footprint' in order to be rapidly usable.

Conflicts are of all time and that will remain unfortunately this way. It is however best dam up crises at this way early possible stage and preferably to occur. Because of their profile (rapidly and worldwide usable for complex and provocative military tasks under difficult circumstances) the corps Mariniers are for this the component suitable within the Dutch armed forces. With the fleet long-term expeditionair can be acted to look after far outside the borders Dutch and bondgenootschappelijke interests. The need of this will only increase in the future because by globalisation, the risk of `spill-over' of conflicts and the continuously increasing dependence of grounds and minerals, our interests will have be secured correctly far from house. Only this way is possible the security and the continuity of the Dutch welfare state and those of our allies is guaranteed.

It is the expectation that potential antagonists more and more their recourse will zoeken to tactics and techniques in area which annuls the projection of modern armed forces. The corps Mariniers are appropriate themselves then to also whom circumstances successfully act to be able. For that the training becomes and the manner of action the continuously held against the light, always new material introduced and the composition of entities regularly adapted.

The Marine Corps is deployed in defence of the NATO territories and also in crisis management, peacekeeping and humanitarian operations. In addition, the Marine Corps is employed in the protection of the territory of the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba. To prepare the marines for the kind of operations they are tasked with, their training programme includes mountain, cold-weather, jungle and urban warfare training.

The Marine Corps participated in Operations and Missions in Iraq, Cambodia, Haiti, Yugoslavia, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Pakistan and Afghanistan. Since July 2009, the Marine Corps participated in Taskforce Uruzgan. In 1991, the Marine Corps took part in the Operation Safe Haven in Iraq, to ensure that Kurdish refugees were able to return safely to their homes. In Cambodia and Haiti, they provided a safe environment for the democratic elections. In 1995, they were deployed in the former Yugoslavia and in 1999 they went to Albania to provide humanitarian aid. In 2000, they took part in the peacekeeping missions in Ethiopia and Eritrea.

The Marine Corps participated in the Stabilisation Force Iraq (2003-2005) and Afghanistan (2005 and 2006) and in humanitarian aid and medical assistance operations in Pakistan (2005) and Haiti (2010). Marines also acted as members of multi-national Operational Mentoring and Liaison Teams (OMLTs) in Afghanistan (2007-2008). The Marine Corps participated in Task Force Uruzgan since July 2009. This task force part of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) consisted of 2,000 men and women of all four Services of the armed forces. The task force provides security and supports reconstruction activities in this Afghan province.

Units of the Marine Corps work in close cooperation with the 3rd Commando Brigade of the British Royal Marines (RM). The RM 3rd Commando Brigade consists of approximately 5,500 marines. Operational units of the Marine Corps are fully integrated into this brigade. This integration is known as the UK/NL Landing Force and is a component of the UK/NL Amphibious Force. As part of this cooperation, the British and Dutch marines use the same tactics, techniques and procedures. The UK/NL Amphibious Force and the UK/NL Landing Force specialise in conducting amphibious operations (safety from the sea). This means that landings are carried out from an amphibious transport ship (for example, the HNLMS Rotterdam or the HNLMS Johan de Witt). Shipborne personnel and materiel are deployed on land with the use of landing craft and helicopters in order to carry out their operations there.

Marine is `way are or living'. these come because the profession of marine demands it necessary. But get for that you also what: friendship, alternatively and defying work, appreciation, a scrap life experience and the voldoening and proudly to serve at inspecting corps with a large tradition, which uses himself worldwide for peace and security. The corps is one large adventure. It is not for nothing that the Mariniers corps has the largest association of veterans in the Netherlands, the contact old mariniers (COM). Once a marine, always a marine!

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Page last modified: 28-11-2011 14:46:54 ZULU