U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. Daniel Lasica, U.S. European Command’s director for plans, policy, strategy and capabilities, visited The Hague, Netherlands, from Nov. 7-8, 2023, to meet with counterparts at the Netherlands Ministry of Defense and reinforce the strong and strategic partnership between the two nations.
The engagement comes at a paramount time for U.S.-Netherlands military cooperation, as both nations – alongside Denmark – co-lead the coalition on F-16 training for the Ukrainian Air Force, and the Netherlands hosting the Northern Europe Chiefs of Defense conference to foster partnerships for regional security.
“The shared vision for European security is significantly enhanced with the support and commitment from our Allies in the Kingdom of the Netherlands,” said Lasica. “Whether it’s support for Ukraine against a brutal, unprovoked invasion, or planning naval exercises to ensure security and freedom of navigation in the Arctic and Baltic Sea Regions, we count on the strong partnership we share with the Netherlands to promote readiness and our commitment to collective defense.”
Topics of discussion at the Ministry of Defense focused on continued support to Ukraine, including how U.S.-based F-16 pilot and maintenance training can best complement coalition efforts to develop Ukraine’s F-16 program. Development of the F-16 program, which will include the donation of fighter jets from several coalition countries - including the Netherlands - is aimed at bolstering Ukraine’s long-term security. The venue also provided the chance to coordinate on additional armament donations, which support Ukraine’s immediate effort to repulse Russia’s illegal war.
To end the trip, Lasica met with the commander of the Netherlands’s Command Material and IT agency, responsible for procuring equipment for the Netherlands Armed Forces. Discussions here focused on how to continue equipping state-of-the-art militaries while maximizing how the two countries integrate and operate alongside one another for deterrence and defense in peace, crisis and war.