Since the beginning of this week, military personnel has arrived on the islands of Sint Maarten, Saba and Statia. They are preparing for the annual hurricane relief exercise. Yesterday, the Commander Netherlands Forces in the Caribbean, commodore Hans Lodder, visited the support ship HNLMS Pelikaan and the operations room in the Asha Stevens Hillside Christian School.
“The military troops are here to support local authority in case of a hurricane passage or another disaster. This exercise is good training to get to know the islands and to get to know their counterparts. Good cooperation is the key to success, so I think it is very important train together annually.” Commodore Lodder stresses that one of the main tasks of the military forces in the Caribbean is humanitarian aid after a hurricane passage of a disaster of another kind. “Let’s hope it will never be necessary, but if it is, we can better be prepared.”
The marine detachment on Sint Maarten is ready to receive troops from Curacao and Aruba. The support ships HNLMS Pelikaan and Karel Doorman will attend the training. This year, for the first time, the French ship Dumont D’Urville and French military personnel will be also part of the training.
Saba and Statia
Also on the islands of Saba and Statia, Dutch marines have arrived. They will get acquainted with local authority and infrastructure. On Saba, there will be no disaster relief exercise until october. Nonetheless, it is important for the marines to get to know the island. On Statia, there will be a disaster relief exercise with local authority.