The Royal Netherlands Marine Corps (RNLMC), established in 1665, is an integral part of the Royal Netherlands Nayv (RNLN). The RNLMC HQ and the Van Ghent Training Barracks are located in Rotterdam. The operational command (Group Operational Units Marines - GOUM) is based in the Van Braam Houckgeest Barracks in the centre of the Netherlands. The GOUM incorporates the bulk of the RNLMC's operational units. The RNLMC will be expended to 3500 marines by the year of 2004.
To provide amphibious trained, rapid deployable, light infantry units that are capable of operating anywhere in the world to protect and support the interests of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and to maintain international peace and security.
Four types of tasks have been identified for the RNLMC: National, Kingdom NATO and Peace Support.
The Operational Organization
The GOUM consists of two active Marine Battalions (1st and 2nd) each numbering 507 men. The 3rd Battalion is partly operational (2 companies) but will be fully ranked at the end of 2004. 2 Companies of this Battalion are permanently based in the Caribbean. The 4lh Battalion will be activated in case of mobilisation only. The Combat Support Battalion consists of a 120mm mortar company, a Stinger air-defence platoon, an engineer reconnaissance platoon and two maritime Special Forces companies. The last two GOUM units are the Logistic Battalion and the Amphibious Support Battalion, which operates the landing craft (LCVP's and LCU's).
The RNLMC, true to its motto Qua Patet Orbis ('As Far as the World Extends'), provides its personnel with a standard personal equipment kit that covers operations in moderate climates as well as in mountain and arctic environments. In addition, units are equipped for deployments under desert or jungle conditions. The Corps' personal weapons are the Diemaco C-7A1 5.56mm assault rifle and the Glock 9 mm pistol. Infantry support weapons include the FN 7.62 MAG and 12.7mm M2 machine guns, Steyr SSG 7.62 sniper rifles and Mossberg M590A1 tactical shotgun.
Cooperation with RNLN
The RNLN commissioned HNLMS Rotterdam (LPD) in 1998 which has significantly broadened the amphibious lift capacity. The Royal Netherlands Navy will further improve the amphibious capabilities by building a second LPD which will have command and control facilities up to division or MCC level. This ship comes into service by 2007.