SARDINIA, Italy - On Liberation Day in the Netherlands, Friday, May 5, 2023, the main part of the Dutch Battlegroup for exercise Noble Jump 23 arrived at Cagliari Airport, Sardinia.
Most of the participating military personnel, from the both the Binational Short Range Air Defence Task Force (BSTF) and the 1 German-Netherlands Corps (1GNC), had already arrived on the Italian island.
Noble Jump is the ultimate stress test for the VJTF
“Noble Jump is the ultimate stress test for the VJTF. It has already shown that we are capable of deploying quickly and well-coordinated into every part of the alliance. Now it's the phase where we are getting the ‘Noble Jump force-package’ ready which is built around the Netherlands spearhead battalion. This battalion is normally the VJTF-unit to deploy first. I can tell we are eager to do so and not only that: we will excel,” said the Dutch Deputy Commander of the multinational VJTF-brigade, Colonel Tjeerd Blankestijn.
The Dutch Battlegroup is primarily formed by the 17 Armoured Infantry Battalion of the 13 Light Brigade with engineering, repair and medical capabilities attached. This infantry unit has mortars, Spike anti-tank missiles and it also has the Boxer as their main vehicle with a remote controlled .50 machinegun on top.
650 Dutch military personnel are on the Italian island of Sardinia participating in NATO exercise Noble Jump 2023. - Photos by Wessel Zuijderduin, Dutch Ministry of Defence
The Netherlands Ground-based Air Defence Command (NLD GBADC) includes Dutch and German troops. Under the command of NLD GBADC both nations form the Binational Short Range Air Defence Task Force (BSTF) for the VJTF. The BSTF includes a Dutch air defence battery and the German Surface to Air Missile Group 61. The Task Force consists of approximately 300 troops, with the Norwegian Advanced Surface-to-air Systems and the Stinger as their main weapon systems. Germany has been part of the NLD GBADC since 2018.
On Jan. 1, the German-Netherlands Corps assumed responsibility for the NATO Response Force (NRF) land component for 2023. A position that allows the headquarters to command tens of thousands of troops to defend Allied territory. For Noble Jump, the headquarters deployed their Initial Command Element.
In recent years, both the headquarters and the manoeuvre units have certified themselves to be able to deploy with extra short response times.
To support the deployment of the Dutch units, the Operational Support Command Land (OOCL) issued a National Support Element for Noble Jump, bringing the total presence of Dutch military personnel in Sardinia during the exercise to approximately 650.