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Koninklijke Marine
Royal Netherlands Navy (RNLN)

Mine Countermeasures Service

For years the Mine Countermeasures Service has disposed of old war mines in the North Sea and kept shipping lanes in the coastal waters and port approaches free of mines. Over the past few years, the Baltic Sea has been added to the service's area of operation (for the Baltic countries). During crisis management operations, minehunters have also made a significant contribution in clearing mines from the Persian Gulf Units of the Mine Countermeasures Service are also often deployed to assist the Coastguard or the police.

The modernisation of the ten minehunters was begun to allow the service to continue to hunt for mines effectively using state-of-the-art materiel, for instance as part of a task group. The importance of this task has increased in view of the current worldwide operations.

The Mine Countermeasures Service also has a Diving and Explosive Ordnance Disposal Group. The group's tasks include all kinds of underwater activities. The navy divers are an integral part of the weapon systems of the minehunters. The service also carries out explosive ordnance disposal on land, together with its air force and army counterparts. The service has four auxiliary diving vessels. It also assists the Royal Netherlands Navy Diving Medical Centre. The navy conducts its own diving training, and also trains professional divers for other government services.

The Royal Belgian Navy and the Royal Netherlands Navy maintain a joint Mine Countermeasures School in Ostend. Here, Dutch and Belgian instructors train military personnel from both countries, as well as from NATO countries and other friendly nations. A Dutch minehunter is assigned to NATO's mine countermeasures flotilla on a permanent basis.

Hydrographic Service

The Hydrographic Service issues official hydrographic publications as well as nautical and hydrographic charts for the promotion of safe navigation. The charts and publications are suitable for both professional and recreational use at sea. The service's area of operation comprises the Dutch sector of the Continental Shelf and the waters surrounding the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba. The Hydrographic Service also supports military actions by charting the seabed of an operational area (for instance recently off the coast of Liberia). It operates two new survey vessels for the acquisition of marine information, HNLMS Snellius and HNLMS Luymes.

Coastguard Service

The Dutch Coastguard Service is a collaboration of six ministries. Operational control rests with the navy. For the execution of the service's duties the participants have put at its disposal a salvage vessel, maritime patrol aircraft, helicopters, surveillance vessels, buoying vessels, an oil containment ship and other navy materiel. The Coastguard Centre in Den Helder is manned on a 24-hour basis. Its area of operation comprises the Dutch sector of the Continental Shelf.

The Netherlands Antilles and Aruba Coastguard performs monitoring and service duties. It is a separate organisation under the supervision of the Minister of Defence and falls under the command of the Flag Officer Caribbean (in his capacity as Director of the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba Coastguard). The Coastguard Centre is located on Curaao, and has auxiliary bases on Aruba and St Martin. From Curaao, the day-to-day activities as well as search-and-rescue missions are coordinated. The materiel consists of three coastguard cutters and a large number of smaller units. The guard ship in the Caribbean is mainly deployed for coastguard operations.





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Page last modified: 01-12-2011 13:31:09 ZULU