Two Dutch army unions are complaining about what they claim are flame-resistant combat uniforms of inferior quality and made in China. These uniforms will be worn by Dutch soldiers stationed in Mali, Telegraaf reports.
The paper quotes Jean Debbie of the VBM (union for both civil and military defence personnel) who claims that superior uniforms are available closer to home: “Even the Pentagon buys uniforms from Dutch company TenCate in Almelo”. Debbie also said the Americans almost exclusively buy American gear. (How true is that considering the USA are a nett arms importer?)
Jan Kleian of Christian military union ACOM added: “Money should be no object when it comes to protecting soldiers stationed in Mali.” Next Monday 14 quartermasters will leave for Mali to prepare for the 350 soldiers who will arrive in March to help the Malinese government as part of the UN mission Minusma. As the Ministry of Defense explains, the interests of a nation of traders like the Netherlands depend on “international safety, stability and a functioning legal order”.
A spokesperson for the Ministry of Defense told the paper that the “current uniform is up to specifications”.