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New Dutch rotation eFP in Lithuania Fully Operational Capable in record time


In the middle of July, a new rotation of Dutch soldiers of the 13th Light Brigade, replaced a unit of the 43th Mechanized Brigade in Lithuania. After an extensive Hand Over Take Over the unit was preparing for combat readiness. When completely ready a unit is declared Fully Operational Capable.


The 42 BLJ Bravo Company, the unit that took over as the Dutch Infantry Company in eFP Battle Group, managed to become Fully Operational Capable within 7 days. The unit already headed out and started it’s exercises in Lithuania.


Dutch contingent commander Major Martijn Pothuizen states: "We are determined to give a good example here. I asked my men to take over the tasks of our predecessors with maximum effort. The fact that we can head out and are Fully Operational Capable today is certainly a great achievement, especially with the new Boxer Armored Vehicle, which is being deployed for the first time in an infantry role. I'm really proud of my men."


The commander of the Dutch combat company Captain Pascal Oude Tijdhof is responsible for making his company ‘combat ready’: "After a killing preparation process in combination with the transition from a mechanized unit to a motorized unit, the men succeeded in making the impossible possible."


Enhanced Forward Presence (eFP)


During the NATO summit in Warsaw in July 2016, it was decided to establish the Enhanced Forward Presence (eFP). The deployment of advanced multinational units is intended to defend NATO Alliance territory and is not intended to seek conflict. The creation of the enhanced Forward Presence is an expression of the Alliance solidarity and embodies credible deterrence.


Enhanced Forward Presence comprises a rotating, proportional and defensive commitment. The Netherlands participate in the multinational battalion led by Germany in Lithuania. The eFP is part of a series of measures to strengthen NATO in its deterrent and defensive attitude. The battle group in Lithuania currently consists of German, Belgian, Dutch, Luxembourgian and Norwegian soldiers.


The current Dutch unit belongs to the 13th Light Brigade, 42 Armored Infantry battalion Limburg Rifles (42 BLJ). It’s main combat vehicle is the six wheeled armored Boxer. This robust and hard terrain capable vehicle is modularly built and therefore suitable for executing various tasks. The Boxer is fast and can cover great distances. It is the first operational deployment of the new vehicle in an infantry role.


42 Armored Infantry battalion Limburg Rifles


42 Armored Infantry battalion Limburg Rifles, abbreviated 42 BLJ, is located in Oirschot at the General-Major Ruyter van Steveninck Barracks and is part of the 13th Light Brigade. The Battalion was founded in 1813 and hence one of the oldest infantry regiments of the Royal Netherlands Army. Battle honours date back to Breda (1813) and Waterloo (1815), and more recently former Yugoslavia (1995-2003), Iraq (2004) and Afghanistan (2007-2010) and many other smaller deployments.

Royal Netherlands Army Detachment Press Office pictures and information

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