Koninklijke Landmacht 2300AD
Since the Twilight War the Netherlands Army has maintained strong ties with its British counterpart. For a long time British units were stationed on Dutch soil helping to protect the tiny country against French and German aggression. Just after the Twilight War some British units such as the famous Royal Greys, also known as the Rhine Brigade were indeed part of the Dutch army. This intimate connection ended in the 22nd century, but ties have remained strong and friendly ever since. This can still be seen in the Netherlands Army units that are part of British formations fighting the Kafers on the French Arm.
The Twilight War
The Netherlands Army, known as the ‘Koninklijke Landmacht,’ often abbreviated to KL has undergone a number of evolutions since the start of the Twilight War. During World War III the army fought with one mechanised corps as part of NATO’s NORTHAG. It was quickly brought up to a war footing and units of the first division took part in the initial attacks and later operated as far east as the Polish campaign. Other units were moved to the Alps, to combat the Italians and later on the army fought against the French when they moved up to the Rhine.
The much depleted army returned from the east and the south to a land that was bombarded, radiated and famine stricken. The first and foremost task of the army in these days was to function as the de facto government. Because, beaten as it was, the Koninklijke Landmacht, together with the Navy in to a lesser degree the Koninklijke Luchtmacht were the only functioning large organisations in the country.
This was also the time that the ‘German area’s’ became part of the Netherlands. To stop marauders a natural border was needed. So when the French finally left the southern Netherlands the Dutch took over the area directly to the south-east of her old borders and took it under her wings. This part of Germany was before the war economically linked to the Netherlands and culturally there weren’t a lot of hurdles. For the Army it was much easier to guard against the Marauders in central Europe from across the Rhine then it was in the North, so the southern part of the Netherlands and the new German area’s flourished quickly. It was in these days that the British regiments, such as the Rhine Brigade used the area around Mönchengladbach as a jump-off point for raids against Marauders in the east.
The North of the Netherlands was not hit as heavily as for example Rotterdam and the area became the main source of foodstuffs for the Netherlands just after the war. This area was heavily guarded by the remains of the 43rd brigade. This brigade was hit heavily during the retreat from Poland while defending the southern flank of NORTHAG and the BOAR in 1997. Battlegroup Bison, as it was known, returned to the north of the Netherlands in 1999 and clamped down on the area, radically rooting out looters and drifters. The area remained under martial law under the command of Brigadier Blaauw until 2001 when a civilian government was again in place.
The War of German Reunification.
In the decades following the Twilight war, the Netherlands were at peace with the Germans to the east and later on with the French to the south as well. The Army became little more than an armed policing force defending against the remaining Marauders and nominally taking part in allied efforts to secure the flow of oil in Arabia.
The Army had close relationships with close Dutch allies in the north-east, the German state of Hannover. Some equipment and ideas were also shared with Bayern to the south. Relationships with the French were cordial, but not as close as those with the German States. The Dutch army sometimes participated in combined exercises, but was not expected to perform large scale manoeuvres. With the coming of such technologies as hovermobile armoured forces and their probable use against the Netherlands by the French junta or a reunited Germany the Dutch army realised too late that her old ideas about defence would no longer work.
The close relations with the main force behind the German reunification, Hannover might mean that this nation intended the Netherlands – with its territory encompassing part of historical Germany for some 250 years- to become part of the new Germany. ‘Die Niederlanden,’ however knew very well that it was in German interest to own ports like Rotterdam and Amsterdam; but that Holland itself gained nothing and had a lot to lose by joining a German federation.
Even though it had close ties with its direct neighbour Hannover and a good working relationship with the other states, it had little in common with lands like Preussen and Sachsen. Even Bayern is far away in the mountains when viewed from a Dutch beach.
Militarily however the Dutch could only hope to slow the Germans down if they attacked. The diplomatic front however showed good hope. The Netherlands didn’t mind a large Germany as a continental counterweight against the French junta. It also agreed with the Germans and the British that something had to be done about the Flemish problem. The Netherlands however would under no condition become part of Germany. The English agreed to support this position with a token force and a promise to stop any hot-headed German plans. All of this kept relations open, and the Netherlands independent
When the Franco-German war of 2292-93 came, the Netherlands Army stood by along the border with the budding Flemish state. The emaciated army that the Netherlands had from the calm years that went before could not hope to stop either the French or the Germans from turning the Netherlands into a battlefield. Dutch diplomats had been working feverishly during the Franco-German phoney war to defend its sovereignty and assure the Hanoverians that the Dutch were not and would not become part of a unified Germany. They found a willing ear with the Netherlands other commercial partner and old time ally, the British. The UK sent an air assault brigade over and let it be known that her second armoured division and the UK-NL amphibious force would be on stand-by should any party break the Dutch borders.
When the War of German Reunification ended the Netherlands realised they had a need to find a militarily strong ally. Economically the Netherlands were strong enough and the German territories were well integrated with the rest of the Netherlands. All seemed well. However French aggression on the southern border and the Germans stirring unrest in the east prompted a need to revamp the Dutch Army.
The army had been mainly a defensive force with only an under equipped Air Assault Brigade for Out of Area duties. The Kafer war on the French Arm and the need to stop off highly mobile hover armoured attacks by French and German armoured forces showed that the Dutch force was not up to date. Formerly the Dutch had leaned towards Bavarian Army doctrine and equipment. This ended abruptly after the war and the Dutch started to reorient.
The long historical and economical ties with the UK were drawn tighter
and surplus British materiel was acquired en masse. Old LkPz VIII’s were
replaced by Cavalier Mk4’s that were updated with Dutch built C3I equipment and
sensors. The British also had loads of older Rifleman IFV’s in stock (old FV
735 Fusiliers, actually). These could be updated to replace outdated LkPzTr
VI’s that the Army still used. Dutch money and British labour were used to
bring the old vehicles back into fighting order; the Fusiliers became
Rifleman’s and got new engines, sensors and weapons and soon the Dutch
mechanised units felt they were able to put up a fight.
The only major German piece of kit still found in the Dutch inventory is the Kz Mk7B. The CW’s are such an intricate and expensive piece of equipment that replacing it is a major undertaking. The Royal Netherlands Army used to send CW operators to the Kampfanzugjäger Schule in the Bavarian mountains, but stopped doing so after German-Dutch relations cooled down. The British, who had originally used the Kz Mk7 to develop their own doctrine and founded the CWW in Catterick were called in. The British could use a trustworthy ally on the continent and the Dutch needed a trustworthy ally against the continent. Both would profit from close military ties and so the Manoeuvre training centre in Amersfoort grew its own CWW with British help.
Apart from this high level cooperation on a strategic level, the two armies were creating ties ‘in the mud’ as well. Interstellar mud in this case. To help in the fight against the Kafers the old buddies of the mutual Royal Marines were working together on Joi.
The land forces didn’t stay behind in this respect. The 17th Armoured infantry battalion Princess Irene’s own Fusilier Guards are part of the 1st Guards Armoured Brigade Group and the 101st Armoured Recce Battalion 'Huzaren van Boreel' has a reinforced squadron attached to 7th Armoured Brigade. Apart from this the RNLMC which has an even longer history with their British cousins have a commando unit, the 1st AGGP integrated into 4 Cdo Bde RM fighting up-arm and a standing co-operation in other formations.
Support for these deployments has been strong in the military itself, amongst politicians and most importantly amongst the population in the Netherlands. There has been talk of withdrawing one of these units now that the campaign has been slowing down, but also of pulling all units back and replacing them with parts of the 11th Air Assault Brigade. The new Light Brigade can then assume some of the 11th AA Bde on Earth. A decision is pending on a decision of whether humanity will ‘take the war to the Kafers.’
So a few years after a close call against the French and the Germans, the Koninklijke Landmacht is fighting the Kafer threat deep in space. It is helping its little cousin, the Flemish militia on its southern border and it is keeping the peace in the Caribbean. A new light brigade is being built around an old mechanised one and a new big mechanised force is being built on the Rhine.
There are peacekeepers in Flanders, while KL instructors help build and train the Flemish army together with the Germans. Some of the old Dutch equipment is being channelled to the Flemish while new British equipment is being parcelled out in the KL. This situation is radically different from the slow and dozing force that was suppose to defend the realm against a mainly theoretical enemy just a few years ago.
1st Army Corps
CISBat Regiment Verbindingstroepen
101 SignalBat Regiment Verbindingstroepen
106 ISTARBat Regiment Dragonders
120 Afdva (Nuclear missiles) Regiment Artillerie
101 Verkenningsbataljon Regiment Huzaren van Boreel
The headquarters of the 1st army corps is in Zeist. Known as ‘Legerplaats Zeist’, or Zeist barracks this has been a military camp since 1672. Located here are the general staff of the army corps, the HQ company and its associated cavalry security squadron. The 101st Boreel has its barracks here as does the CISbat and the 101st signal battalion. The corps headquarters only becomes a manoeuvre unit in the case of all out war, but will relocate when that happens. It then merges with the CISbat.
The 120 Afdeling Veld Artillerie is based, with the other heavy artillery units of the army in ‘t Harde at the Luitenant Kolonel Tonnet barracks. 109 and 119 artillery regiments are based there as well. Because of their specialist nature these units are concentrated on one location, as is the artillery missile school, the artillery drone school and the army drone school.
A reinforced squadron of the 101st Verkenningsbataljon (101 Recce Bn) of the ‘Huzaren van Boreel’ is currently part of the famed 7th Armoured Brigade on BCV with II (Commonwealth) Corps. The brigade was the first armoured brigade landed during the third liberation and because of that Boreel’s Hussars saw much combat. The squadron is built around B squadron of 101 Armd Recce battalion and has two armrd recce troops in Templer FO vehicles adapted for the armoured recce role, a dismounted recce troop in Templers and an AT troop Templer AT versions. Attached to B sqn are a troop of Cavalier Mk-4NL HBT’s of D squadron and a mixed troop from E (support) sqn with Musketeer FSV’s, hover mobile artillery and mortar carrying Riflemen. Also along is a mixed logistic troop from the battalion logistic company. On a whole the battalion integrates well with the Desert Rats though some Dutch NCO’s feel they’re scorned by their British opposite numbers because the Dutch older equipment and lack of ‘Pump and Bull.’ This strengthens the belief of much Dutch soldiers that it was a wise decision to send the 10th/11th Hussars over to 9 Gds Armd Bde. The 101st and its B squadron is using modern equipment, the rest of the recce battalions still use Craufurds for the armoured recce role and Rifleman FV735’s and Carabiner FV 737’s for IFV and AT vehicles.
11 Infantry Bn AASLT Garderegiment Grenadiers
12 Infantry Bn AASLT Regiment Van Heutsz
13 Infantry Bn AASLT Regiment Stoottroepen Prins Bernhardt
14 Infantry Bn AASLT Garderegiment Jagers
11 Logistic Bn Regiment Logistieke troepen
11 Engineer Bn AASLT Regiment Genietroepen
11 Recce Company Regiment Stoottroepen Prins Bernhardt
11 Artillery Regiment Regiment Artillerie
11 SRAD Company Regiment Van Heutsz
11 Medical Company Regiment Geneeskundige Troepen
11 Headquarters & Signal Company Garderegiment Grenadiers
Also attached to –and co-located with the brigade, but formally part of
the Army training command is the Air Assault school battalion. The Air assault
brigade is located near
The Air assault brigade always has one battalion on standby while the rest is training or deployed.
1 geniebat Regiment Genietroepen
2 geniebat Regiment Genietroepen
103 NBC Bn Regiment Genietroepen
101 bridge coy Regiment Genietroepen
102 constr coy Regiment Genietroepen
103 genie-sptcoy Regiment Genietroepen
Support units all numbered as their parent Bde. Such as logistics Bn, transport Bn, Medical Bn, Headquarters and signals Coy, etc.
The Engineer brigade is part of the Army corps, but not a manoeuvre unit as such, the 1st engineer brigade is set to support divisions and brigades when and where needed. Units of the brigade also undertake OOTW by themselves, the pioneers in the battalions are more than capable of defending themselves when needed. The brigade is based in the Princess Margriet barracks in Wezep, where historically engineer units have been based. The engineers can train in the moors towards Kampen and on the sands to the east of the town. They also use the 43rd brigade's training area just to the north. The 1st corps’ 106 ISTAR bat is co-located in the Princess Margriet barracks.
107 afdva Regiment Artillerie
109 afdva (cruise missile) Regiment Artillerie
110 afdva (MLRS) Regiment Artillerie
101 afdlua Regiment Luchtafweer Artillerie
102 VerkBat Regiment Huzaren van Boreel
105 ISTARBat Regiment Dragonders
Divisional assets also include signal, logistics and supply units and higher order medical installations and a command support group, all combined in 101 combat support brigade.
The first division has its units mainly located in the east and north east of the Netherlands, its units also recruit from this area. The division has its own dedicated medical and higher order support units combined into the 1st Logistical Brigade.
The divisional headquarters are in Apeldoorn at the Koning Willem III kazerne, but its brigades are spread around the east and north of the country. 13 brigade is based in Ermelo, split between the Generaal Spoor and the Jan van Schaffelaar barracks ; 41 brigade is based in Harderwijk near the large training areas there. 43 brigade has been based in Havelte’s Johannes Post barracks seemingly for ever.
The brigades artillery group (107, 110 an 101 AfdLua) are based in Arnhem at the Saxen Weimar barracks. The 102 Recce battalion and 105 ISTAR battalion are both based in Zutphen in the Detmers barracks.
11 tankbat Regiment Huzaren van Sytsama
17 mechbat Garderegiment Fusiliers Prinses Irene
18 Mechbat Regiment Friese Jagers
13 geniebat Regiment Genietroepen
13 AFDRA Afdeling Rijdende Artillerie ‘Gele rijders’
13 BVE Regiment Huzaren van Boreel
13 luabtij Regiment Luchtafweer Artillerie
Support units all numbered as their parent Bde. Such as logistics Bn, transport Bn, Medical Bn, Headquarters and signals Coy, etc.
The 17th Mechbat GFPI is currently deployed with the 1st Guards Armoured Brigade Group of the British Army’s II (Commonwealth) Corps on Beta Canum Venaticorum IV on the French Arm. It operates as a battlegroup with 1 Royal Tank Regiment, which given the KL culture is all for the best because characters would clash when the Household Cavalry would have to work with the 'Cloggies'. Because of this deployment the 17th has been equipped and trained with Templers before the rest of the brigade. The other infantry battalions in the brigade, and the army, are equipped with Rifleman IFV’s series vehicles.
Historically this brigade was stationed in Oirschot, this was before the Twilight war. During the Twilight war the 13th was the first brigade to return to the Netherlands and attempt to stop the French advance. Later it was deployed, downsized to two battlegroups named BG Irene and BG Rhino in the area where it is now stationed. It policed the area, stemmed flooded rivers because of bombed dykes and provided disaster relief. When the first division was rebuilt and stationed in the Veluwe it took up residence in the two least damaged barracks in Ermelo. The brigade remained there ever since.
101 tankbat Regiment Huzaren Prins Alexander
42 mechbat Regiment Limburgse Jagers
43 mechbat Regiment Chassé
41 geniebat Regiment Genietroepen
41 afdva Regiment Artillerie
41 BVE Regiment Huzaren van Boreel
41 luabtij Regiment Luchtafweer Artillerie
Support units all numbered as their parent Bde. Such as logistics Bn, transport Bn, Medical Bn, Headquarters and signals Coy, etc.
The 41st brigade is an old unit. During WWIII it was the 41st Light Brigade and served as the recce unit for 1(NL) corps and NORTHAG. It operated as a screening force for the British push to Berlin and fought rear guard actions against Soviet partisans in Poland and on the Oder after the retreat. Later it was recalled to Bavaria to stop off the Italians. The unit didn’t reach Dutch soil in time to fight the French and remained in Germany as Battlegroup Griffin in the Ruhr area. It is now stationed in the large forested area near the IJssellake in Harderwijk. The soldiers are appreciated there, but regarded with some despair because they make a habit of seducing the Christian farmers and fishermen’s daughters on nights in the town.
42 tankbat Regiment Huzaren Prins van Oranje
44 mechbat Regiment Johan Willem Friso
45 mechbat Regiment Oranje Gelderland
43 geniebat Regiment Genietroepen
14 afdva Regiment Artillerie
43 BVE Regiment Huzaren van Boreel
43 luabtij Regiment Luchtafweer Artillerie
The 43rd brigade is traditionally the northern brigade of the army. The Johan Willem Friso regiment has lots of Frysians among its ranks. The 44th has as its mascotte a Frysian stallion that is kept at the barracks, but cared for by a local managerie. The brigade ended WWIII as Battlegroup Bison securing the only working rural area in the Netherlands –the North- against marauders and keeping the roads open so the country could be fed. For that it is still renowned.
119 afdva (cruise missile) Regiment Artillerie
114 afdva (MLRS) Regiment Artillerie
102 afdlua Regiment Luchtafweer Artillerie
103 VerkBat Regiment Huzaren van Boreel
104 ISTARBat Regiment Dragonders
Divisional assets also include signal, logistics and supply units and higher order medical installations, all combined in 102 combat support brigade.
The division has its headquarters at the Netherlands’ largest military facility, the ‘de Ruyter van Steveninck’ barracks in Oirschot near Eindhoven. The entire support organisation for the 4th division is stationed there, the 2nd logbrig has most of its units there, divisional recce and ISTAR battalions and the divisional artillery group (minus the 119th afdeling, which is based in ‘t Harde with the other missile units).
51 tankbat Regiment Huzaren Prins van Oranje
51 Mechbat Regiment Chassé
52 Mechbat Regiment Infanterie van Nassau
51 afdva Regiment Artillerie
51 geniebat Regiment Genietroepen
51 BVE Regiment Huzaren van Boreel
51 luabtij Regiment Luchtafweer Artillerie
Based with the divisional troops at the ‘de Ruyter van Steveninck’ barracks the 51st brigade has some large training areas nearby. The entire Oirschotse heide area is one big training site where entire battalions can manoeuvre. The huge barracks area in Oirschot is very different from the smaller barracks in use in West-Falen or Havelte.
53 Mechbat Regiment Infanterie Oranje Gelderland
54 Mechbat Regiment Friese Jagers
55 Mechbat Regiment Infanterie van Nassau
52 afdva Regiment Artillerie
53 Geniebat Regiment Genietroepen
52 BVE Regiment Huzaren van Boreel
52 luabtij Regiment Luchtafweer Artillerie
The 52nd brigade is the largest unit based
in the ‘German teritories’ in the West-Falen province. It uses two barracks sites, near Mönchengladbach and another in
Bonn. These are the Bernhard Kazerne in Mönchengladbach which has the brigade headquarters and
support facilities together with the independent companies and 54th
and 55th battalions. The Koningin Maxima Kazerne near Bonn houses the 53rd battalion,
BVE, the engineers and the divisional support unit 402 Logbat,
from 2nd Logistic brigade. The 52nd brigade is the largest
brigade in the division manpower wise, it has three full battalions of
mechanised infantry. It’s job in wartime is to deploy
53 tankbat Regiment Huzaren van Sytsama
56 Mechbat Regiment Menno van Coehoorn
57 Mechbat Regiment Limburgse Jagers
53 afdva Regiment Artillerie
53 Geniebat Regiment Genietroepen
53 BVE Regiment Huzaren van Boreel
53 luabtij Regiment Luchtafweer Artillerie
The headquarters of the 53rd mechanised brigade is in the beautiful old Juliana van Stolberg kazerne in Den Bosch. Most of the combat power, however is in the somewhat less idyllic Willem I barracks on the outskirts of the city. The Willem I barracks not only house most of the manoeuvre units of the 53rd brigade, but also some Infantry security companies. The Juliana van Stolberg barracks is host to an experimental unit, the 58 mechanised battalion that is to be an infantry unit based on the same principle as the IBC’s. This battalion will become part of the brigades combat reserve and follow on forces.
15 licht infanteriebataljon Garderegiment Jagers
16 licht infanteriebataljon Regiment Limburgse Jagers
19 licht infanteriebataljon Regiment Infanterie van Nassau
12 Verkenningscompagnie Regiment Limburgse Jagers
12 licht bataljon Regiment Dragonders
12 Afdva Afdeling Rijdende Artillerie ‘Gele rijders’
12 Geniebat Regiment Genietroepen
The Light Brigade is a unit mainly aimed at providing a follow on force for the air assault brigade and to take part in peacekeeping duties and providing a rotational battalion in the Caribbean. All of this is to free the red berets for their main task of being the ‘direct left’ of the Dutch army. The Brigade is still in the process of being founded and so is still one battalion short. The army has some trouble recruiting enough people for this and efforts are being made to get people from the armoured infantry into the light battalions. Some armoured recce troopers are also eligible for this.
The old 12th mechanised brigade was based at the large Nassau-Dietz barracks near Budel in the North of Limburg. The main regiment in the brigade had its regimental museum and mess here, the Nassau-Dietz being the largest army barracks in Limburg. The regimental headquarters in the deep south of the province in Maastricht. The brigade will remain in Budel, sharing some of its barracks and training area with the KMS (NCO School) at the nearby Van Horne barracks in Weert. The training area’s around the barracks are some of the most varied in the army, with hills in the West-Falen province to the east, marches in the west and sandy high mores to the south. To north are the large rivers.
The fourth division is located mainly in the southern provinces of the Netherlands. The fourth is busy reorganising one of its mechanised brigades into a light brigade to make it more strategically mobile. This brigade will also be slated to support and follow on the 11th Air Assault brigade and might be taken out of the division and become independent. This depends on wether funds are available to create a dedicated support echelon for it. Untill that time it will remain part of the division.
The division has 51st brigade stationed near Eindhoven and 53rd near Den Bosch. The 52nd brigade is a full mechanised infantry brigade and is located near Mönchen Gladbach with one battalion (53Mechbat RIOG) near Bonn. 12 Light Brigade is still being founded, but was already located around Budel and Weert in Limburg. The division has its support units concentrated in the 2nd logistical brigade which has units in West-Falen for the 52nd brigade, but other units are with the 2LogBrig in Oirschot near Eindhoven.
A difficult operation has taken place to split the old 52nd brigade to form the 53rd and beef up both units to a full mechanised brigade. This operation was planned so that the reorganisation of the 12th mechanised brigade into a light infantry unit does not weaken the mechanised power of the army. An ongoing discussion in the media, especially in the south east of the Netherlands is whether an all infantry force is enough to stop off the German army. It seems that the decision not to organise an armoured battalion for the 52nd brigade was mainly a financial- and not a strategic one. This deficit in armoured stopping power is felt by many to be cheap now, but expensive when it counts.
101 Cdo Bn
108 Cdo Bn
The Korps Commandotroepen, or KCT is the prime special operations Force of the Netherlands armed forces. They are the only strategic SPECOPS unit in the Army, although the SBS in the RNLMC have a similar capability. The SBS are much smaller and do not have the organic support the KCT has. The two LAVcie’s are new units grown from the need to support regular army units with a kind of long range recce (Land Afstand Verkenning) and strike capability that only special forces can deliver.
108 Cdo Bn(Commandotroepen battalion) has a dual role company that is both an operational and training company. It doesn’t train men for the Special Forces, but develops off world operational doctrine and is busy training some of its men with SOHEC for zero G and space installations work. Units of 104 Cdocoy, part of 108 Cdo Bn have operated on the French arm and are said to support Dutch operations there.
The 101st Commando battalion operates some military assistance teams that are training the Flemish militia. These teams are said to operate as counterintelligence against French saboteurs and agents provocateurs. This is all part of the ongoing underground war going on under the eyes of the peacekeeping force in place. The recent level 4 exercise on the French-Flemish border by 110 LAVcoy is part of this ‘cloak and dagger campaign’ as well.
The Nationaal Territoriaal Commando functions much the same way as the TA does in the UK. It commands, trains and supports the reserve units that are part of the Army.
The ten NATRES battalions are the true ‘Weekend Warriors’ which have only a national defence and emergency role. They are organised in territorial battalions which each cover one and some two provinces. The battalions are of a general makeup, but have a different number of rifle companies corresponding with the size of the area they cover.
The other part of the Territoriaal Commando are Security and Reconnaissance squadrons and the Security and Reconnaissance companies. These are not so much voluntary reserve units as parttime soldiers and troopers and therefore semi-regulars. The LVE’s, LBE’s, IBC’s and IVC’s are sometimes used to reinforce standing units. These squadrons and companies are trained to a manoeuvre warfare role, while the NATRES units are general service infantry. The Security and Reconnaissance units are trained mainly for territorial defence, but they are standing units and can be deployed when needed. The NATRES units on the other hand are true reserve units and have only a National Defence and Emergency role. The LVE troopers and IBC and IVC soldiers are soldiers 2 or three days per week and have civilian jobs the rest of the time.
The battalion commander of the NATRES battalion is also the Regional
Military commander and as such is in charge of all non-regular units in his
area of responsibility. The RMC also commands all LVE’s; LBE’s;
IBC’s and IVC’s and when attached their support
units. In times of war all territorial units form battlegroups where the
cavalry security units and recce companies operate in a screening role and the
301, 302, 303, 304, 305 LVE (Licht Verkennings Eskadron / Light recce Sqn) Regiment Huzaren van Boreel
When the KL has to fight a fully fledged war it is likely that the regular recce units will experience a lot of attrition; it is also likely that this war will be fought at such a pace and with such speeds that extra recce units are needed. The semi-regular part-timers of the LVE’s will form these extra units and will also be BCR’s for the standing units.
101, 104, 107, 111, 112 LBE (Licht Beveiligings Eskadron / Light security Sqn) Regiment Dragonders
The LBE’s of the Dragoon Regiment have a rear area security role in common with the main task of the Dragoon’s regulars who are the ISTAR battalions of the Army. They perform route security, reinforce MP and local police and are QRF’s for point defence units of the NATRES. In wartime they can be sent to newly occupied area’s in a general security role.
Light Security Squadrons have use equipment also seen in the regular army, such as Craufurd armoured recce vehicles. The squadrons have hover mobile dismounted troopers in ‘Tirailleur troops that use DAF MT hovers.
101 – 118 IBC (Infantry security companies) Regiment Van Heutsz
The infantry counterpart to the LBE’s are the IBC’s. They do not so much route security, but area security and function as POWguards and CRC units. They are hovermobile in DAF 5Tonners and MT’s. These companies function independently under RMC and as such are biggish because they each have a staff platoon, a logistical platoon and a support platoon next to three rifle platoon. The staff platoon does much of the ‘on the job training’ after a new soldier gets in from the school battalion at Schaarsbergen depot. Being part of the Van Heutsz regiment all IBC soldiers are trained at the Air Assault school battalion.
There is also a 120 IBC which is a penitentiary unit. It trains delinquent youths to be soldiers after they get sent over from a juvenile court. These youths often join the IBC, or even the regiments’ Air Assault battalion after the completion of their term. This makes the Van Heutsz something of a Wild Child in t he army.
121 – 132 IVC (Infantry reconnaissance companies) Regiment Infanterie Oranje Gelderland
The IVC’s are border patrol units and are located along the Dutch borders with Germany, France and Flanders.
These soldiers all serve close to home and as such know the border area well. In times of mounting tension they can infiltrate the border area and report on hostile activities. The French accuse these units of operating in Flanders where they are said to interpret the term ‘Border area’ too broad to suit the French taste.
Most IVC’s are co-located with Koninklijke Marechaussee units and they take most of their men from rural area’s.
These units are creative and used to operating literally outside established boundaries. During an exercise in 2298 a corporal from 129 IVC who was a farmer south of Tilburg took up an OP in his tractor while plowing his field. While doing so he was able to observe Flemish OPFOR troops performing reconnaissance and then starting their advance. While NATRES-units and units from 13 Mechbrig took up blocking positions they got a running commentary from the IVC OP that was calmly plowing his field and drinking his coffee.
The Korps Nationale Reserve is the main reserve force of the Koninklijke Landmacht. It is built of ten line battalions: 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, 90 and 100 NATRESBat (National reserve General Service infantry battalions) and one school battalion. The NATRES, or National Reserve has the status of an Infantry Regiment, it is the Korps Nationale Reserve.
The NATRES battalions are not all of the same composition, the 30th battalion in the Noord Holland province functions in a province with large Royal Netherlands Navy bases in it. Therefore the 30th has only a small HQ company and three rifle companies. The 90th battalion located in and around Bonn has six rifle companies and an integral support company. It’s location on the border, the political tension over the contested territory and the strong feelings local population have about the Germans make this the largest battalion.
The official equipment the battalions use is all General service equipment; five tonne trucks, hover vehicles for liaison and staff use. There are differences that stem from the territorial location of the individual companies. 20 battalion has a company co-located with an RNLAF security unit (NATRES doesn’t have its own barracks, it’s always a ‘ guest’ user). When the RNLAF replaced its Reynard armoured security vehicles the NATRES gently took them over and now Echo company 20 NATRESBAT has a QRF unit with light armoured vehicles.
All logistic and when needed engineering support comes from the regular army.
tankbat : Tank Battalion
mechbat: Mechanised Battalion
geniebat : Engineer Battalion
afdva : Field Artillery Regiment
BVE : Brigade Recce Squadron (Brigade Verkennings Eskadron)
Luabtij: Air Defence Battery
Licht Infanteriebataljon: Light Infantry Battalion
LAV-cie: Long Range Recce Company
VerkBat: Recce Battalion (usually Armd)
Soldiers for all regiments and brigades are recruited nationwide. However, enlisted men apply for a position in a given brigade and usually recruitment drives by brigades are performed in their local area. The only brigade that actually recruits from all over the country is the Air Assault brigade. It is expected that the new Light Brigade will do this as well.
NCO’s usually come up through the ranks, but medical staff, signals C3i units and engineers make exceptions for specialists in their respective fields. These people follow a separate course at the KMS and then get a specialist training in their respective OC.
In the Netherlands army corporals are not considered NCO’s, they are enlisted men who function as teamleaders in specialist functions and as 2i/c under their sergeant. The men in the ‘teeth’ arms are often derisive of logistic personnel who become corporals much faster than infantrists. These support arms soldiers are hard to find –somehow young men and women don’t want to be ‘fluffies’- and to increase retention quick promotions are used. A lot of infantry and cavalry soldiers and NCO’s hope that the more British orientation of the Netherlands armed forces will put a halt to these practices.
Officers in the Royal Netherlands Army all go to the KMA. This ancient institution has been training officers since the early 1800’s and has done so ever since. ‘The Castle’ as it is called runs several courses which all usually lead to the much derised rank of second lieutenant. The officers are selected from applicants fresh from the ‘voortgezet onderwijs’ higher education schools all over the Netherlands, but officers are also recruited from university graduates and indeed from young men and women with some experience in the civilian world. There are several forms of fixed term commissions and the much sought after unlimited term commission. This last one is usually only given to people coming to the KMA straight after school.
Each brigade in the Netherlands has its own school battalion. This battalion gives basic training to all enlisted personnel entering the army that will serve in this brigade. There are different companies training teeth arms and support arms. For training purposes engineers are considered a teeth arm (The engineers themselves do this as well).
After basic training a soldier goes to a specialist school for his first posting. For this there are several training centres dotted around the country. Some functions require soldiers to go to several schools. The infantry and cavalry soldiers go to the ‘Manoeuvre Training Centre’ in Amersfoort. Here the school for infantry trains all mechanised infantry ‘starter functions.’ IFV drivers also attend the army driving school in Oirschot. All infantry soldiers start as a rifleman in an infantry section. They do sometimes, however become a driver or machinegunner from the start.
Follow on functions can be sniper, mortar operator or pioneer. All these functions require the soldier to attend specialist training. Some functions like sharpshooter or ATGW operator are trained by either the battalion or the brigade. Whenever enough soldiers that need a certain course are reported, a course is set up and thought by the unit’s own NCO’s.
Support arms have their own OC’s, or Opleidings-centra. They rely on them a bit more than the teeth arms since their occupations are by nature more specialist and their units smaller in both manpower and organisation level. Because of this a soldier in a transport unit will attend courses in his OC more often than a cavalry tanker.
For all intents and purposes the Netherlands Army OC’s operate as depots. The school battalions in the brigades give follow on courses for corporals and junior instructors. Because of this, the Dutch soldier identifies more with his battalion and his brigade than with his regiment. The patch on his right arm is more important to him than his capbadge.
NCO’s from all arms, except for medical or signals (C3i) units come from the ranks. They’re trained at the KMS, or Royal Military School in Weert. After attending the 3 month course the NCO gets the rank of sergeant, but before returning to his unit he will have to attend a specialist course in the OC of his arm of service.
Officers are trained to second lieutenant at the KMA, or Royal Military Academy in the medieval castle in Breda. Standards for entry differ on whether the budding officer gets a fixed term or unlimited term contract. After graduation and promotion from vaandrig, or cornet to second lieutenant the young officer has to attend a specialist course in his chosen arm of service.
The infantry and cavalry soldiers, NCO’s and young officers attend the OC Manoeuvre in Amersfoort, which has an infantry and cavalry school. Air Assault soldiers of all ranks go to the Air Assault Brigade’s school battalion in Schaarsbergen which has become the centre of excellence for all air assault training in the army. This has, according to some, led to the Air Assault Brigade becoming an ‘entirely different army’ from the rest of the KL.
The infantry school trains mechanised (armoured) and light infantry and also gives follow on courses for different weapons and functions. The cavalry school is split up into a tank school and a recce school. This last school trains recce and ISTAR units. The cavalry school as a whole functions as the infantry school in offering the entire spectrum of training for all cavalry functions and weapons. Both schools let the army driving school do the basic driver training, the OC Manoeuvre then takes over for the tactical part.
For the engineers there is the OC Genie in Vught. Here all engineers of the army return time and time again during their career in the army. The OCG as it is called trains for the basic training of engineer soldiers, for specialist functions as diver, crane operator and demolitions specialist and it trains entire units. Also courses are given for engineer NCO’s and officers. At the OCG there is an all arms unit training UXO/EOD personnel and it also trains RNLMC and RNLAF engineer staff.
The artillery school is the OC VUST, for Vuursteun, which means fire support. It, like the OCG has an all arms unit, since it trains forward observer classes and it also trains infantry mortar crews. The main location is Ede, but it uses ranges in the Waddenzee islands for life fire exercises. The OC VUST has a dependance at ‘t Harde where the Army has its missile artillery units. Because of the intricacies of using cruise missiles and long range drones, most KL units associated with this sort of equipment is on one location. Life fire exercises for the missile units is usually done in the Antilles, where there is enough space, the North sea being too crowded to fire area denial ammunitions and long range low flying missiles and drones.
There are several logistic schools located in the Veluwe area of the Netherlands and near Emmerich. Here the army teaches its cooks, mechanics, maintenance staff and drivers. These schools are collectively called the OC LOG, for logistics and they are the largest school of the army. Officially part of the OC LOG is the OC MGD, for Militair Geneeskundige Dienst, military medical service. It trains doctors how to deal with specific military injuries and diseases, but it also trains soldiers that function as medics how to dress wounds.
25 Sep 2007
Copyright Kaye, 2007