Maritime Forces

The Royal Netherlands Navy is the maritime and amphibious element of the armed forces. It employs approximatly 11,000 personnel of which about 10,000 are military and the remainder civilian. The highest ranking officer in the Navy is the Commander of the Royal Netherlands Navy, who reports directly to the Chief of the Netherlands Defence Staff. The main naval base of the navy is in Den Helder. The Navy provides peace and security at and from the sea. The main tasks of the Navy are:
  • Protecting the territory of the Kingdom and NATO
  • Maintaining the freedom of the seas
  • Protection an support of Dutch interests, anywhere in the world
  • Upholding the international rule of law and protecting human rights
  • Providing support to civil authorities regarding law enforcement, disaster relief and humanitarian aid, both at home and abroad.
Main Naval Base in Den Helder

This includes protecting shipping routes, search and rescue operations, countering illegal trade in weapons and drugs, clearing mines, patrolling coastal waters, supporting land operations by supplying ammunitions, food and water, gathering intelligence, providing medical assistance and providing fire support.