Netherlands Maritime Forces Conduct Amphibious Landing Training


10/29/2015: The Royal Netherlands Navy is preparing for participation in the NATO Response Force (NRF) by conducting amphibious landing training off the coast of Spain as part of Exercise Trident Juncture 2015.

The Netherlands is commanding an amphibious task force during the exercise, consisting of a maritime staff aboard the Dutch amphibious transport HNLMS Johan De Witt.

The Netherlands’ 1300 participants include an Amphibious Task Group (ATG) consisting of Navy, Army and Air Force units.

During the exercise, the Dutch amphibious staff, led by Commander Rob Kramer, and the Marine Corps are being trained to operate on the border between land and water in a complex scenario.

Units of the Marines are put ashore from the sea, backed by naval vessels, landing craft and helicopters.

With this training, the Royal Netherlands Navy and its NATO partners are becoming well attuned to one another and can thus better align certain procedures.


The HNLMS Johan de Witt is a frigate with significant C2 capability and played a key role within Bold Alligator 2014.

Captain Rene Luyckx, CO of HNLMS Johan de Witt

Captain Rene Luyckx:

The ship was built in 2006. 

It is built more or less along commercial standards; there is a lot of room for operations. 

It is a small village. 

There is an airport, a garage, a hotel, and a port in effect involved with the ship. 

The difference with our ship compared to most ships of its class is that we have a large C2 area.

Captain Rene Luyckx: on the bridge of his ship during Bold Alligator 2014. Credit: Second Line of Defense

Question: Where have you operated the ship?

Captain Rene Luyckx : We have been on Exercise African Winds; twice we have operated as the command ship for anti-piracy operations off of Africa; and in the Caribbean as well.

Question: The kind of operations we need to do now require flexible C2. 

How have you used it so far?

Captain Rene Luyckx:

This ship was the flagship for the EU task force off of Africa. 

We will go again in January where Sweden will be in charge but they will operate off of our ship because of our C2 capabilities.

We intend to use the ship for a larger national force but it has become a very effective coalition asset.

And sea basing is crucial for you can operate independently, and provide support logistics aboard the ship rather than having to push them ashore.  And we can do C2 for the entire force we might support ashore as well.

Question: The Osprey is part of BA-2014.  How does it affect your thinking about operating as a coalition partner with the USN-USMC?

Captain Rene Luyckx:

We can land the Osprey aboard our ship. 

And the Ospreys can go deep against an objective area. 

And we can do other operations with our helos and landing craft.

And we can Command and Control all of this from the ship if we wish rather than having to put C2 ashore in a potentially hostile environment.

The Netherlands and Bold Alligator 2014