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.