Netherlands to integrate combat brigades with German army amid heightened security threats

Netherlands to integrate combat brigades with German army amid heightened security threats


German and Dutch armies to integrate the last combat brigade

VEITSHÖCHHEIM (Web Desk) - In response to the increasing security threats in the region, the Netherlands will merge its remaining combat brigades with the German army. At a joint military ceremony in Veitshöchheim, Germany, Dutch Defense Minister Kajsa Ollongren announced that "the Russian invasion of Ukraine has catapulted us into a new era of collective European defense."

Of the three combat brigades in the Dutch land force, two have already been integrated into the German military. The merger of the last Dutch 13th Light Brigade, comprising 3,000 soldiers, into the German army’s 10th Panzer division was marked by the ceremony.

The integration will result in a force of approximately 50,000 military personnel, with 8,000 soldiers coming from the Netherlands. However, the Korps Commandotroepen, the special forces unit of the Dutch army, will not be included in the merger.

The move comes after a symbolic joint cabinet meeting between Germany and the Netherlands in Rotterdam, which was heavily bombed by the Germans during World War II.

According to Ollongren, the integration of the armed forces of both countries will not compromise the sovereignty of the Dutch army. In a February letter to parliament, she emphasized that both governments will be able to decide independently on the deployment of their armed forces.

However, Martin Wijnen, commander of the Royal Netherlands Army, has pointed out that cultural differences between the German and Dutch armies may pose some challenges. In particular, he stated that "If a German commander takes a decision, it is the end of the discussion," while "When a commander takes a decision in the Netherlands, it is the start of a discussion." Ollongren acknowledged the differences but emphasized that "in the end, there are more similarities."