NL H 47 D 601 NLD GLV5 09Mar22 Dino van Doorn file info 640KLu Chinooks to Iraq

On 29 September 2023, the Dutch House of Representatives was informed that the Netherlands will enlarge the current military deployment in Iraq and therefore contribute more to the NATO mission.

The Koninklijke Luchtmacht (KLu, Royal Netherlands Air Force) will send a 120-person detachment with three CH-47F Chinook heavy-lift helicopters to Iraq. It has not been reported when the helicopters will start their mission. The Chinooks will initially be available for the NATO mission in Iraq (NMI). When not needed, they can execute orders for Operation Inherent Resolve (OIR). This is a United States-led mission, created in response to the advance of ISIS in 2014. With this combined deployment for both NMI and OIR, Dutch helicopter capacity is optimally used.

The NATO Mission in Iraq (NMI) is carried out at the request of Iraq and provides advice at institutional level. NMI contributes to strengthening the Iraqi security sector, so that the country can resist the terrorist organization ISIS and other threats. The mission also helps Iraq to successfully manage and future-proof the security sector. The Dutch government wants to shift the focus of Dutch security efforts in Iraq from stabilisation to advice and capacity building.

The KLu Defence Helicopter Command (DHC) has nineteen CH-47F Chinooks in its inventory, of which fourteen are operated by 298 Squadron at Gilze-Rijen and five by 302 Squadron at Robert Gray AAF (Fort Cavazos-Killeen), Texas.

Credit photo: Dino van Doorn (Scramble Archive)

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