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Military Engineering in the Netherlands

Dutch military personnel are in action every day, both at home and abroad, in the interests of the Netherlands and its people. The Netherlands Defence organisation thus contributes to the prosperity and security of our country, both now and in the future. The worldwide deployment of our military personnel reinforces international cooperation and promotes the Netherlands' ambition to ensure people to realise their potential in freedom and security.

Within the army, two Combat Engineer Battalions, a Construction Engineer Battalion and an Air Mobile Engineer Company are embedded. All engineer units are trained for operational and national support tasks. Engineers Search Teams are specialised in senior search operations and use their skills and techniques developed in Afghanistan, also in the Netherlands by assisting the police and the Fiscal Investigation Service apprehending criminals. It also helps to keeps their skills current.

Combat and Construction Engineer units have an obligation to support national tasks when needed. In the recent past they were deployed for tasks such as disaster response at flooding's.

Who does the work?

The Defence organisation employs approximately 58,800 personnel (excluding the reservist's pool of 5,000):

41,900 military and 16,900 civilian personnel. Around 14% of this personnel (military and civilian) are women. The Royal Netherlands Army is the largest Service in terms of personnel.

Not all of the 89,800 personnel are deployed directly for those tasks. Part of the personnel only supports the operational units. Operational Units have to eat, have to train, may need medical support and their equipment needs to be maintained.

Opposite of what some people may think, the 41,900 military personnel are not waiting for something to happen. To be ready for operations at all times, they need to be well trained in advance. This is why military personnel continually conduct training and are involved in exercises.