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Royal Netherlands Air Force Apaches return from Mali
The Dutch government decided to withdrawn the helicopters squadrons supporting MINUSMA at the end of 2016. Two Defense Helicopter Squadrons were deployed to Camp Castor in Mali. 301 squadron with four of its AH-64D Apaches from April 2014 tasked with intelligence gathering, supporting Dutch ground forces, provide a how of force and actual fire support to UN forces in need of air support. Their colleagues from 298 squadron operating the CH-47D/F arrived in October 2014 with three CH-47D Chinooks. They were tasked with transport and medevac and will cease their mission at the end of April 2017. The German Army will take over the role of the Dutch helicopters deploying a couple of their NH90-TTHs and Tigers but these are not expected to arrive before April. Currently the Chinooks are protecting each other during missions (door mounted guns).
For 301 squadron the mission end on December 31st, 2016. All four helicopters will be dismantled at Camp Castor with maintenance crews removing rotor blades etc. With the support of a Heavy Airlift Wing C-17A (see note) two Apaches were flown back on Friday January 6th not to their home base at Gilze-Rijen but to Woensdrecht Air Base. Here the logistics centre Woensdrecht takes care of depot maintenance of the RNLAF F-16s and helicopters. The Apaches will now join the maintenance line for their 500 hour inspection where they will be disassembled, cleaned from sand, inspected and receive an upgrade. This process will approximately take 25 weeks to complete after which they will return to Gilze-Rijen and return to flying duty. The return flight for the other two Apaches is not scheduled yet but it's intended to fly them to Woensdrecht soon.

Note: The Netherlands is one of the twelve members who purchase three Boeing Defense C-17A Globemaster IIIs. These aircraft are assigned to the Heavy Airlift Wing based at Pápa in Hungary. Each member annually buys flying hours and decides for themselves when to assign a C-17 for a mission. The Netherlands has bought 500 hours annually.

The Netherlands purchased 30 Boeing Defense AH-64D Apache helicopters. Two Apaches crashed while supporting international missions, one in Afghanistan and one in Mali. RNLAF Apaches:

Squadron Number Status and location
301 Squadron 20 Operational: Gilze-Rijen Air Base
302 Squadron 8 Operational: Ft. Hood, Texas
  2 Written Off
Total 30

The Apaches listed as operational are assigned to the squadrons but not all of them are available for missions due to maintenance at either their home base or at Woensdrecht. In 2017 the last helicopters will receive their block II upgrade.
AH-64D photographed at its home base Gilze-Rijen (GZR). A C-17A from the Heavy Airlift Wing (Papa AB, Hungary) overshoot at GZR.