US Army, February 03, 2015 - FORT HOOD, Texas by Staff Sgt Tony Foster — Dutch officers met with the Division West commanding general here Jan. 29 to discuss potential training opportunities for their units.
“It was an office call between the commander of Division West and the Air Commodore of the Dutch Defense Helicopter Command, and the Dutch 11th Airmobile Brigade commander, to discuss possible cooperative opportunities,” said Col. Christopher Albus, 166th Aviation Brigade commander, who was present at the meeting.
The Dutch armed forces have held a significant footprint on Fort Hood for some time now and look to further establish itself at the “Great Place.”
“I think we already have a good working relationship with units on Fort Hood,” said Air Commodore Jan Willem Westerbeek.
He further explained the reasons the Dutch train on Fort Hood.
“We built a business case a few years back, in which we put down which effects we’d like to achieve on our training,” Westerbeek said. “The results of that business case, was that Fort Hood would give us the best opportunities to execute and conduct our training.”
Division West training alongside Dutch forces here has evolved over time.
“I think that the Dutch-American relationship is strong,” said Albus. “There is a lot that we can gain from each other, especially as a First Army organization.
“This is all contingent on whether the Army chooses to select First Army to handle the transition responsibilities from 21st Cavalry Brigade.”
The idea of future training opportunities and the beneficial international relationship between the two organizations seemed to be a mutual feeling.
“We are confident that we could have a good cooperation ahead of us,” said Dutch Brig. Gen. C.J. (Kees) Matthijssen, 11th Airmobile Brigade commander.
Only time will tell what the Army has planned for these allied commanding generals and their units.
“I rather look forward to the opportunity to potentially work with this great NATO partner,” said Albus. “I think there are benefits for both First Army Division West and the Dutch air and ground forces.”