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”.
Today exactly 30 years ago, the Dutch government used 5 tanks, armored vehicles, a helicopter, nearly 3,000 soldiers (MP and special army units) and police, and two types of teargas (illegal use), to end a protest in my hometown of Nijmegen against the demolition of a centuries old residential area for a parking garage.
The major point was that there was (and still is) a lack of housing in Nijmegen and throwing people out of their homes to make way for a parking garage seemed like a good reason to fight.
The Mayor signed posters that read in capitals:
1. DON’T USE VIOLENCE.
2. DON’T THROW MOLOTOV COCKTAILS, FIRE BOMBS AND THE LIKES.
3 REMOVE YOURSELF.
UPDATE: Free and legal download of the punk track in the background and more by Nijmegen’s The Squats (Thanks Marco!)
The Ministry of Defense got one of its blown up trucks back from Afghanistan with a note from Canadian soldiers. According to the Defense internal newspaper, the note said “Sorry we blew up your truck! But it saved two lives. Thank you very much. Canada.” The DAF XF truck was borrowed from the Dutch army and returned with an Antonov transport airplane into the Nethererlands. These things happen!