Defense will practice various military skills on Sint Maarten from 13 to 30 September. This includes maritime operations such as beach reconnaissance and amphibious actions. The exercise is part of a larger plan to prepare for eventual hurricane relief.
Soldiers must keep their skills up to date in order to remain widely deployable at all times. By choosing Sint Maarten as a practice location, a possible hurricane passage in the region can be acted upon quickly and effectively. A large part of the personnel who support during a hurricane passage will already be in the area, as well as vehicles and means of communication that are then used.
Focus of the training
During the training, the focus is on maritime and (amphibious) operations such as beach reconnaissance or the deployment of observation posts. The military also train Non-Combatant Evacuation Operations (NEO), in which people are evacuated during emergencies. As well as providing support during a hurricane passage. The training enables Defense units in the Caribbean to act anywhere in the world at different levels of the spectrum of violence when necessary.
In order to gain a better insight into the working methods of the various local authorities, simulation exercises are also being conducted with the disaster staff and other security partners for maintaining public order during crisis situations. Fast and robust action during Humanitarian Assistance (HA) operations is only possible if you practice well with the local authorities.
Safe working environment
During the preparation and execution of this exercise, explicit account was taken of the (travel) restrictions that the COVID-19 pandemic entails. Only personnel with a valid vaccination certificate or a negative PCR test are allowed to participate in the exercise. Any additional measures that have been or will be imposed by the country of Sint Maarten will be responded to by the Ministry of Defense.
Marines from the marine detachment Sint Maarten, the Marine Squadron Carib from Aruba, but also the transport ship HNLMS Pelican and communication personnel from Curaçao are participating in the training.