By Lance Cpl. Damarko Bones, II Marine Expeditionary Force
MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. --
Dutch Marines traveled nearly 1,600 miles to conduct bilateral training with U.S. Marines with II Marine Expeditionary Force during a weeklong exercise at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C., March 21-24, 2017.
The training increases interoperability between the Korps Mariniers and U.S. Marines working side-by-side as partner nations. These Dutch Marines, stationed in Aruba, welcome the opportunity to work in the cooler temperatures and urban training environment offered by North Carolina. In turn, U.S. Marines will travel to Aruba to perfect their tactics in a hot climate and perform multiple dive operations on the island.
“It’s always great to work with Marines from the United States,” said Timon van Dishoeck, commanding officer of the Korps Mariniers company. “This is good training because we get to do live-fire operations in urban terrain and we provide the [U.S.] Marines with good training facilities in hot terrain and diving opportunities with our coast guard.”
The Korps Mariniers company is regarded as an essential line of defense for the island of Aruba. This bilateral training with U.S. Marines increases their proficiency in a variety of skills necessary to complete their mission.
“We have three missions in Aruba,” said van Dishoeck. “The first mission is to defend Aruba, its territories and its allies. The second is to support local authorities and the third mission is to enhance the international rule of law.”
The Korps Mariniers ensure their Marines are ready for whatever comes their way, always looking to improve.
“We do a lot of training on the island of Aruba, but in order to maintain a higher level of readiness we prefer to train at Camp Lejeune,” said van Dishoeck. “Here we can incorporate military working dogs, air support and fire support.”
By working together, Marines from each nation develop a better understanding of how to implement new techniques. “The Dutch Marines only use dogs in special operations,” Sgt. Justin McCormick, a military police officer with 2nd Law Enforcement Battalion. “We’re integrating our capabilities into their capabilities. We’re going through the MOUT town [modern operations on urban terrain] and helping them complete their missions.”
This type of bilateral training is beneficial for the Dutch Marines who enjoy training here and look forward to coming back yearly.
“This is a great training opportunity for our Marines,” said van Dishoeck. “We are very grateful for the opportunity provided to us by the United States, the Marine Corps and the Reconnaissance Marines who are working with us out here.”