PHILIPSBURG–The Dutch Ministry of Defence is conducting a hurricane relief exercise in the Dutch Windward Islands until June 5. Central to this is practicing the logistical movements of personnel and equipment.
The units will also use their stay to become more familiar with all three islands and the relevant partners based on them, such as government organizations, non-governmental organizations and companies that play an important role in emergency relief. There is no other major exercise scenario taking place on the Windward Islands.
The pre-detachment flew from Curaçao via Aruba to St. Maarten on the Coast Guard patrol plane (DASH 8) on Thursday to facilitate the arrival of the “main force”. The majority of the participating soldiers travelled by charter flight or ship from Curaçao via Aruba, or by charter flight from the Netherlands. Two small detachments travel to Saba and St. Eustatius by means of the Coast Guard patrol aircraft.
The vast majority of the 250 soldiers are already present in the Caribbean. In addition, a marine detachment is permanently present on Sint Maarten. By training on the islands, it is possible, in an actual hurricane threat, to provide emergency aid and rescue people in need immediately after the passage.