Marine Mingle

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Defense on Aruba is the responsibility of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The Netherlands Military forces that protect Aruba include the Royal Netherlands Navy, the Netherlands Marine Corps and the Netherlands Coastguard. There is also a small indigenous “ArubaanseMilitie” (ARUMIL) of about platoon strength. All forces are stationed at Marines Barracks Savaneta. Here are some activities that have been happening lately with the marines.

ARUMIL soldiers took the oath

Last Friday was a happy moment for six soldiers from the ARUMIL and one naval man from the fleet. They took the oath or affirmation in the presence of their family. The ceremony took place at Marine Barracks Savaneta in Aruba, and His Excellency Mr Boekhoudt, the Governor of Aruba, also attended the ceremony.

Lieutenant Colonel of the Marines Art van Beekhuizen, commander of Marine Barracks Savaneta: “Every soldier takes the oath or promise once, it is a great milestone in their career at Defense. We therefore consider it appropriately.” To all sworn in: Masha Pabien and welcome to your next section. The swearing in marks the end of the training phase.

Engineers of the Royal Netherlands Army practice in the Caribbean

During exercise Caribbean Engineer, soldiers from Phoenix OOCL, part of the Royal Netherlands Army in the Caribbean, practice their (construction) skills. The exercise has now been underway for a week and a half and will last four weeks in total.

The unit, 101 Engineer Battalion, consists of engineers with various expertise. They are military and also specialists in the field of construction. In the coming period, they will carry out a program consisting of various military training courses on the one hand, and on the other hand they will work on multiple construction tasks for various parties, including Defense itself. Engineers from, among others, 102 Construction Company and 105 Engineer Company Hydraulic Engineering train their skills at various locations on Aruba, Curaçao and Sint Maarten, but also help realize important social projects. For example, the construction experts in Curaçao, commissioned by Carmabi, are working on a footbridge at a small water crossing. At Arikok National Park in Aruba, the military is supporting, among other things, a Kite Power sustainability project, where a test will take place to generate energy using a large kite. Various infrastructural facilities are required for this. The engineer unit will also get to work for Defense itself. For example, a practice house is being built at Marine Barracks Savaneta for training ‘performing in urban areas’. The unit consists of more than 150 soldiers who are housed across the islands. For the construction work, 40 (military) construction vehicles were shipped by sea to Curaçao and Aruba.

Women Social Training Trajectory

The current training of the Social Training Trajectory in Aruba has been underway for a month and a half. The 12 women who are still in training were in the field last week, because: they were at bivouac. That means spending the night in a bow tent and working all day long with all kinds of military skills, ranging from ‘map and compass’ and Self Help Comrades Help (military first aid). Nice work ladies!

The Social Training Trajectory is a training course for Aruban youth, which consists of a military phase and an internship in civil society. After completing the military phase of the training, they receive a beret and certificate.