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Change of Command, 11 Luchtmobiele Brigade, Deelen air base
Latest update: June 2021
Brigadier general Ron Smits transferred command of 11 Luchtmobiele Brigade (11 Air Mobile Brigade - 11LMB) to brigadier general Cas Schreurs at Deelen air base on June 2, 2021. General Smit assumed command of 11AMB in front of the Airborne Museum in Oosterbeek on July 13, 2017. Then, as the brigade celebrated its 25th anniversary as well as the 75th anniversary of the red beret (the international beret worn by airborne soldiers), the ceremony was held in public. This time the change of command ceremony was held for distinguished visitors and member of 11AMB.

11AMB closely cooperates with Royal Netherlands Air Force squadrons. 336 squadron proving its Hercules for cargo delivery system drops, para drops and air landing operations. Defence Helicopter Command 298 (Chinook), 300 (Cougar) and 301 (Apache) provide helicopter transport, airlift and close air support. Battalions of 11AMB and the RNLAF squadrons are ready to deploy together transforming the units into Air Manoeuvre Brigade. During the change of command ceremony, a capability demonstration was held. Pathfinders were the first to arrive at Deelen after their military freefall jump. As a small team they set out landing zones for the large(r) force to arrive by parachute or flown in by transport helicopters. The latter were using low flying area Arnhemse heide (heath) as staging ground for their operations. At the heath special forces assigned to 11AMB were picked up by a Cougar to be fast roped at Deelen. The two Chinooks first picked up two platoons and then returned to pick up sling loads. In the meantime, two Apaches had secured the airspace at Deelen and both flew with the Chinooks to the Arnhemse heide.

Compared to other air bases in The Netherlands, Deelen is the most difficult for photography. Most of the other bases have spotter's zones where public can view flight activities. However, Deelen is for the most part adjacent to national park De Hoge Veluwe and at the road from Schaarsbergen to Hoenderloo it is forbidden to stop and park. Therefore, Arnhemse heide was visited. Here a parking location is available and providing you stay on the trails and don't interfere with exercises there is plenty of opportunity to take photographs. All photographers present received a safety briefing by the landing zone officer so the units could train without interferences and photographers could practice their work / hobby.

Brigadier general Smits has been promoted to the rank of Major General and will assume command of Netherlands Special Operations Command (NLD SOCOM) and will advise the Commander of the Armed Forces in the field of Special Operations.

The photo gallery below is presented in order of the action taking place.

Tags: Netherlands, Airbus Helicopters, H215M (AS532 Cougar), Boeing Defense, H-47 Chinook, H-64 Apache (Guardian)
Photo gallery