The Regiment of Engineers of the Royal Netherlands Army will create a current map of the island’s terrain and infrastructure from April 10 to 24. This map will serve as an aid in reconstruction in the event of a future natural disaster such as a hurricane.
At the request of the Sint Maarten Government, the engineers, led by 13 Light Brigade, will conduct reconnaissance to map the island’s terrain and infrastructure. If a natural disaster occurs in the future, the map will make it possible to rapidly and efficiently determine the damage and effectively provide the emergency assistance required.
In September 2017, the Caribbean part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, particularly Sint Maarten, was battered by Hurricane Irma. Government institutions, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and the defence organisation have since contributed substantially to the provision of emergency assistance and reconstruction. While Irma was not the first natural disaster (hurricanes, earthquakes and tsunamis) to strike the Caribbean, it was by far the worst in recent years.
The Regiment of Engineers take the opportunity to practise skills in a real-life setting. The objective is to train those who are tasked with engineer reconnaissance. The military personnel will travel in military uniform using civilian vehicles. They will be recognisable because of their military clothing but, to minimise any inconvenience to people and the environment, will not use heavy military vehicles. Tactical training will not take place. Therefore, weapons and (training) ammunition will not be used.