Netherlands Completes Secret Military Training for 300 Ukrainian Marines

The Netherlands has concluded a secretive training project for 300 Ukrainian marines to support them in the conflict in their country.

The four-month effort provided amphibious lessons for the troops with the support of Dutch Marine Corps specialists.

Other preparations focused on trench-based deployments and urban warfare tactics.

Amsterdam wrote that the project was facilitated in partnership with military trainers from Norway, Sweden, the UK, and the US.

In its announcement, the government clarified that the mission was disclosed to the House of Representatives after its completion due to “potential security risks” for the involved parties.

“Ukraine has wide rivers and long coastlines,” Netherlands Defence Minister Kajsa Ollongren stated. “It is therefore of the utmost importance that we could share our knowledge with the Ukrainian marines.”

“I recently attended an exercise by Ukrainian marines. I was impressed by their ability and drive.”

Training Experienced Servicemen

The Netherlands noted that seasoned veterans with first-hand experience in previous operations also participated in the tactical training.

“Some of them said they had fought on the Ukrainian front lines before,” Dutch Armed Forces Commander Onno Eichelsheim remarked.

“They therefore bring back specific knowledge of combat, which means that the training they received here could be better tailored to real, current circumstances.”

Ukrainian marines on a military training led by the Dutch Armed Forces. Photo: Netherlands Ministry of Defence
Ukrainian marines on a military training led by the Dutch Armed Forces. Photo: Netherlands Ministry of Defence

Support for Ukraine, Europe

The government further highlighted the importance of the training for the Ukrainian Armed Forces and the broader European defense capabilities.

“They apply the knowledge and expertise they have acquired here under actual combat conditions a few weeks later,” Eichelsheim said.

“That affects the motivation on both sides: everyone is here to get the most out of every learning moment.”

“We are sending a strong signal: we will continue to jointly support the Ukrainians in their fight for the sovereignty of their country. That fight is also about the security of Europe.”

Recent Contributions

The Netherlands has launched multiple initiatives to support Ukraine since Russian forces attacked two years ago.

In May, the country selected industry partners to supply parts and munitions for the Patriot air and missile defense systems it will donate to Ukraine.

Last year, the government revealed a fleet of F-16 Fighting Falcon jets ready to be sent to Kyiv should enemy forces continue advancing.

Simultaneously, the Dutch Armed Forces along with a British-led multinational military training consortium for Ukraine completed preparations for over 17,000 Ukrainian recruits.

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