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|Ministerie van Defensie|
Logo of the Ministry of Defence
Coat of arms of the Netherlands
Ministry of Defence
|Formed||November 29, 1813|
|Jurisdiction||Kingdom of the Netherlands|
|Headquarters||Plein 4, The Hague, Netherlands|
|Employees||44,302 active duty |
3,339 reserve forces
18,000 civilian staff
|Annual budget||€10,5 billion (2018)|
|Deputy Minister responsible|
The Ministry of Defence (Dutch : Ministerie van Defensie; MinDef) is the Dutch Ministry responsible for the armed forces of the Netherlands and Veterans Affairs. The Ministry was created in 1813 as the "Ministry of War" and in 1928 was combined with the "Ministry of the Navy". After World War II in the ministries were separated again, in this period the Minister of War and Minister of the Navy were often the same person and the State secretary for the Navy was responsible for daily affairs of the Royal Dutch Navy. In 1959 the ministries were merged. The Ministry is headed by the Minister of Defence, currently Ank Bijleveld, assisted by a State secretary (Barbara Visser) and the Chief of the Defence of the Netherlands, Rob Bauer since 2017.
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The ministry has the responsibility for:
The ministry consists of the Minister (Ank Bijleveld) and the State secretary of Defence (Barbara Visser), the so-called Central Staff, the Netherlands Armed Forces and two supporting organisations.
The Central Staff of the ministry is led by the Secretary-General, the highest civil servant. The most important elements of the Central Staff are:
The highest military official is the Chief of Defence (Dutch : Commandant der Strijdkrachten). He is a four-star general or admiral and controls the branches of the armed forces, which are organised in three operational commands:
The fourth branch of service, the Royal Netherlands Constabulary, falls directly under the Secretary-General.
The armed forces are supported by two civil organisations that reside under the Ministry of Defence:
The ministry employs over 70,000 civil and military personnel.
The Armed forces of the Netherlands consist of the Army, Navy, and Air Force.
After the creation of the Statute of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the Royal Netherlands Army was entrusted with the defence of Suriname, while the defence of the Netherlands Antilles was the responsibility of the Royal Netherlands Navy. The army set up a separate Troepenmacht in Suriname. Upon independence in 1975, this force was turned into the Surinaamse Krijgsmacht (SKM):, Surinamese Armed Forces. On February 25, 1980, a group of 15 non-commissioned officers and one junior SKM officer, under the leadership of sergeant major Dési Bouterse, staged a coup d'état and overthrew the Government. Subsequently, the SKM was rebranded as Nationaal Leger (NL), National Army.
The Ministry of Defence is the British government department responsible for implementing the defence policy set by Her Majesty's Government, and is the headquarters of the British Armed Forces. It is the UK's ministry of defence.
A commander-in-chief or supreme commander is the person who exercises supreme command and control over an armed forces or a military branch. As a technical term, it refers to military competencies that reside in a country's executive leadership, a head of state or a head of government.
The Netherlands Marine Corps is the elite infantry component of the Royal Netherlands Navy. The unit is specialised in special operations, operating under highly extreme conditions and amphibious warfare. The Korps Mariniers are a rapid reaction force that can be deployed to any location in the world within maximum 48 hours. Their motto is Qua Patet Orbis.
The Royal Netherlands Air Force, is the military aviation branch of the Netherlands Armed Forces. It was created in 1953; its ancestor, the Luchtvaartafdeling of the Dutch Army was founded in 1913. The aerobatic display team of the Royal Netherlands Air Force was the Solo Display Team.
M-Squadron, formerly the Unit Interventie Mariniers, and before that known as the Bijzondere Bijstandseenheid, is an elite Dutch special forces unit which is tasked with conducting domestic counter-terrorist operations. M-Squadron is part of the Netherlands Maritime Special Operations Forces of the Netherlands Marine Corps.
The Military William Order, or often named Military Order of William, is the oldest and highest honour of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The Order is named after St. William of Gellone (755–814), the first Prince of Orange. The Order's motto is Voor Moed, Beleid en Trouw. The chivalric order was established on 30 April 1815 by King William I and was presented for feats of excellent bravery on the battlefield and as a meritorious decoration to senior military officers. Comparable with the French Légion d’Honneur but far less often awarded, the Military William Order is a chivalry order of merit open to everyone regardless of rank and nobility, and not only to Dutch military but also foreigners. To date membership of the Order is extremely rarely awarded and only for excellent bravery in battle.
The Royal Netherlands Army is the land forces element of the military of the Netherlands.
The Air Force Board of the Defence Council is responsible for the management of the Royal Air Force.
The National Reserve Corps is a part of the Royal Netherlands Army. NATRES is a corps in the sense that it has a specialised task. The reservist is, like all Dutch military personnel, a military volunteer.
HNLMS Karel Doorman is a multi-function support ship for amphibious operations of the Royal Netherlands Navy, which is also used by the German Navy. The ship replaced both of the navy's replenishment oilers: HNLMS Zuiderkruis and HNLMS Amsterdam. At 204.7 metres (672 ft) she is the largest ship in service in the Netherlands navy.
The Decoration of Merit is an important military decoration for bravery in the Netherlands. The medal was established by the Dutch minister of defence, Wim van Eekelen, on 16 April 1987. The award was created by ministerial decree and is therefore a medal of the Netherlands Ministry of Defence and not a royal decoration.
The Chief of Defence is the highest-ranking military officer in the Armed forces of the Netherlands and is the principal military advisor to the Minister of Defence. On behalf of the Minister of Defence, he is responsible for operational policy, strategic planning and for preparing and executing military operations carried out by the Armed forces. The Chief of Defence is in charge of the central staff and is the direct commanding officer of all the commanders of the branches of the Armed forces. In this capacity the Chief of Defence directs all the activities of the Royal Netherlands Army, the Royal Netherlands Navy and Royal Netherlands Air Force. He is also in charge of the Royal Netherlands Marechaussee, when it is operating under the responsibility of the Minister of Defence.
The Ministry of Defence (MINISDEF) is the department of the Government of Spain responsible for planning, developing and carrying out the general guidelines of the Government about the defence policy and the managing of the military administration. It is the administrative and executive body of the Spanish Armed Forces.
The Korps Commandotroepen (KCT) is the special forces unit of the Royal Netherlands Army. It is one of the three principal units tasked with special operations in the Netherlands armed forces. The KCT is tasked with conducting the full spectrum of special operations, focusing on direct action, special reconnaissance, military assistance and counter-terrorism in particular.
HNLMS Dolfijn (S808) is a Walrus-class submarine of the Royal Netherlands Navy. She entered service in 1993 as the third submarine of the Walrus class, after HNLMS Walrus and HNLMS Zeeleeuw. Dolfijn has been deployed both for naval exercises and in combat operations around the world. Furthermore, the submarine plays an important role by performing intelligence operations.
The Netherlands Maritime Special Operations Forces is the special forces unit of the Marine Corps of the Royal Netherlands Navy. It is one of the three principal units tasked with special operations in the Netherlands. The unit can be deployed worldwide to conduct special operations, including counter-terrorism both overseas and domestically, with a maritime focus.