Everyone knows my affection for all things Dutch; a nation that, if they had the gun laws of the Swiss and Finns, I could be easily tempted to move to ---- but a different topic for a different day.
Their military is outstanding considering what little money the get from their government as a % of GDP and the fact they are a nation of only ~17 million in a nation the size somewhere less than twice the size of New Jersey.
They are making a smart move;
The Caribbean-based Dutch marines conduct amphibious based missions out of Aruba and Curassow including hurricane preparation and relief, anti-piracy interdictions and boarding operations. The Royal Netherlands Marine Corps recently purchased boats allowing them to integrate river based operations as a part of their mission skill sets.Here is the part where we all win - our Riverine is getting some ideas from the Dutch as well.
"We are setting up a riverine capability," said Royal Netherlands Marine Corps Lt. Macheal Bussemaker, platoon commander. "We are primarily trained in using amphibious ships off coastal waters, and we are now bringing up the notion of pushing through to brown water delta areas. We don't have any operational experience in using the brown water, but the Riverines, with their experiences in Iraq, do."
The next phase of training focuses on amphibious ship-to-shore operations provided by the Netherlands marines.Since our Revolutionary War - Riverine squadrons have proven over and over the fact that they give you an exceptional bang for the buck. We should continue to make sure that we do not make the mistake we did in the 1990s and throwing away this capability that we will need again.
"As Riverines we haven't done over-the-horizon or amphibious operations," said Lt. j.g. Michael Diehl, RIVRON 3, detachment 1 officer-in-charge. "We can give them our experience and knowledge in the brown water, and when we train with the Dutch later this year, they can pass along their experiences and educate us."
Now, if we could just get them some of these at the :30 sec mark for the Sailors?
One final note on the Dutch - this is accurate.
"The Dutch have been amazing, and these guys are seasoned operators," said Diehl. "They came to the table prepared, and they're well versed warfighters. These guys are now deploying tactics and making smart decisions that, in real river combat, will save people's lives."Another great thing about the Dutch - they have a climate that encourages robust debate. Nice boutique military - good people.