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Dutch 45th Armoured Infantry Battalion declared combat-ready for NATO Response Force

The Dutch 45th Armoured Infantry Battalion was declared combat-ready for the NRF on 13 September following exercise ‘Vigourous Bison' held in eastern Germany the previous two weeks. (Dutch MoD)

The Dutch 45th Armoured Infantry Battalion is combat-ready for the NATO Response Force (NRF), the Netherlands informed the alliance on 13 September. The declaration followed two years of preparations culminating in the battalion exercising in the GefechtsĂŒbungszentrum Heer (GÜZ), the German Army's combat training centre in Altmark, eastern Germany, the previous week.

A Dutch Ministry of Defence (MoD) spokesperson told Janes on 19 September that the battalion would be kept at combat readiness for several years but would not specify how many days readiness it was at or if it was part of the NRF Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF). The Netherlands will support the VJTF with 1,500 troops in 2023, according to the Bundeswehr website, which gives a readiness level of two to seven days for the VJTF.

The Dutch MoD said on its website on 14 September that the exercise, dubbed ‘Vigourous Bison', demonstrated the battalion's readiness to conduct complex military operations. During the exercise, a battlegroup formed by the battalion defended an area that was taken by German opposing forces before the Dutch unit recaptured it. The battalion was supported by armoured engineers, which laid bridges, and included simulated air support.

‘Vigourous Bison' involved nearly 900 troops, 100 armoured vehicles, and 250 other vehicles. The 45th Armoured Infantry Battalion is equipped with Leopard 2 tanks, CV90 infantry fighting vehicles, Boxer and Fennek armoured vehicles, C8NLD (upgraded M-16) rifles, and Panzerfaust 3 anti-tank weapons, according to Janes World Armies

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