The Royal Netherlands Air Force (RNLAF) is re-activating its 306 Squadron at Leeuwarden Air Base to operate the four MQ-9 Reaper Block 5 unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) it is procuring, the Dutch Ministry of Defence (MoD) announced on its website on 14 September.
The Netherlands ordered four Reapers under a government-to-government agreement signed with the United States on 17 July during the Farnborough International Air Show. The Reapers are scheduled to be delivered in mid-2020, although it has not been decided where they will be based, the Dutch MoD said.
However, the squadron already has image analysts and intelligence specialists who have been providing processing, exploitation, and dissemination capabilities to Operation 'Inherent Resolve' against the so-called Islamic State since December 2016 – first from Ramstein airbase in Germany and then from Leeuwarden – and will continue to do so after the Reapers arrive, the Dutch MoD said.
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