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Naval Command Netherlands Antilles 1
Commandement der Zeemacht in de Nederlandse Antillen (CZMNA)



VLOOTCIEAMPNABEWDETNA DDETSUFBEWDETNA HBEWDETNA GBEWDETNA BBEWDETNA ECZMNA(ST)ANTMIL3AGGPstation shipVlb Hato KLuBEWDETNA CBEWDETNA A2AGGPHr.Ms. Wamandai tugboatMBPARBEWDETNA FMSKSAV336 Sqn KLu
  
Unit Main Equipment Location Peace Strength War Strength
Staff Naval Command Netherlands Antilles [a]     Curaçao 13/18/9/25 (65)
25/20/11/25 (81)
   
Station ship [b]     (Afloat) (176-180) (176-180)
Hr.Ms. Wamandai [c]     Curaçao (10) (10)
     
336 Squadron (Royal Air Force) [d] Fokker F.27M  Curaçao (32) (32)
Hato Air Base (Royal Air Force) [e]     Curaçao ? ?
   
2 Amphibious Combat Group [f]     Curaçao, Aruba (305)
3 Amphibious Combat Group [g]     15/147/282 (444)
   
Antillean Militia [h]     Curaçao, Aruba 5/37/106 (148) 5/37/106 (148)
   
Security detachments [i]
Security Detachment Netherlands Antilles A     4/19/75 (98)
Security Detachment Netherlands Antilles B     4/19/75 (98)
Security Detachment Netherlands Antilles C     4/19/75 (98)
Security Detachment Netherlands Antilles D     4/19/75 (98)
Security Detachment Netherlands Antilles E     4/19/75 (98)
Security Detachment Netherlands Antilles F     4/19/75 (98)
Security Detachment Netherlands Antilles G     4/19/75 (98)
Security Detachment Netherlands Antilles H     4/19/75 (98)
   
Naval Base Parera [j]     Curaçao 25/114/206/54 (399) 19/77/126/54 (276)
Fleet Company [k]     Curaçao (± 116) (± 116)
Detachment Suffisant [l]     Curaçao 5/24/77/12 (118) 3/16/25/12 (56)
Marine Barracks Savaneta [m]     Aruba 13/81/138/6 (238) 8/33/40/6 (87)
   
Shore Patrol Division Netherlands Antilles [n]     Curaçao 1/9/20 (30) 1/9/20 (30)
   
Naval Command Netherlands Antilles Peace Strength: (± 960) [o]
Naval Command Netherlands Antilles War Strength: (± 1850) [o]

Notes
   
a. Headed by Naval Commander Netherlands Antilles (Commandant der Zeemacht in de Nederlandse Antillen, CZMNA), headquartered at Naval Base Parera in Willemstad, Curaçao. The staff included bureaus for Intelligence, Operations and Planning, Personnel, and Materiel; also a Head of Logistics, a regional office of the Military Social Service and the Radio Monitoring Service Netherlands Antilles (Radiocontroledienst Nederlandse Antillen, RCDNA). RCDNA was a small, about eleven men strong element of the Naval Intelligence Service (Marineinlichtingendienst, MARID) which collected signals intelligence (SIGINT) through its listening post Sint-Joris on Curaçao. It reported to MARID's Technical Information Processing Centre (Technisch Informatieverwerkingscentrum, TIVC) at Naval Barracks Amsterdam. The CZMNA staff further included a small Royal Army detachment of four sub-officers from the Royal Military Constabulary. These mainly handled criminal investigations and would, if needed, support the Shore Patrols of the Marine Corps (see note n).2 
b. For deterrence (showing the flag) and territorial defence of the Netherlands Antilles the Royal Navy had permanently one frigate stationed in the Antilles, referred to as the station ship (stationsschip). A station ship would serve a rotation of about six months, usually taking part in a number of national and international naval exercises in the Caribbean area. In 1985 station ships were, subsequently, the Kortenaer-class frigates Hr.Ms. Abraham Crijnssen (November 1984-May), Hr. Ms. Bloys van Treslong (May-November) and the Van Speijk-class frigate Hr.Ms. Van Galen (December-May 1986).3
c. Decommissioned on 1 July 1985 because of its decrepid state. Per 26 May 1986 replaced by Hr.Ms. Woerden, a former Dokkum-class coastal minesweeper that had previously served as a diving tender. Hr.Ms. Woerden was refitted in the first months of 1986 to serve as general utility vessel/communication vessel in the Antilles. Its pennant number was changed from M 820 to A 882.4 
d. (Nominal) squadron of the Royal Air Force, under operational command of Naval Commander Netherlands Antilles. Operated from Hato Air Base, Curaçao with two unarmed Fokker F.27M maritime patrol aircraft. Commander 336 Squadron was also Air Base Commander. Tasks comprised surveillance, including (passive) anti-submarine warfare (ASW) and counter drugs operations (CD), search and rescue operations (SAR), and various transport duties. Squadron personnel was a mixture of Royal Air Force, Royal Navy (ten to twelve men) and a small number of Antillean civilian members. Air Force personnel was trained and delivered by 334 Squadron in the Netherlands. The two aircraft (Fokker F.27 Mk 200 Maritime, also: Fokker F.27 MPA) were modified versions of the F.27 'Friendship' civilian turboprop airliner. Modifications included the addition of a Litton LTN-72 navigation system, a Litton AN/APS-503F search radar in a ventral radome, two extra fuel tanks (pylons) of which one with searchlight, observation windows, smoke markers and radio buoys. The aircraft had a crew of six to eight men and could remain airborne for eleven hours.5
e. Small air base of the Royal Air Force under operational command of Naval Commander Netherlands Antilles. Co-located with the civilian Dr. Albert Plesman International Airport in Willemstad, Curaçao. The Air Base Commander was also Commander 336 Squadron.6 
f. Of 2 Amphibious Combat Group of the Marine Corps the following elements were stationed in the Netherlands Antilles: of 20 Staff and Support Company twenty-four men at Naval Base Parera, Curaçao and twenty-five men at Marine Barracks Savaneta, Aruba; the reconnaissance platoon of 25 Combat Support Company, twenty-four men (1/9/14 (24)), at Naval Base Parera; 21 Infantry Company at Naval Base Parera and 22 Infantry Company (both 5/32/79 (116)) at Marine Barracks Savaneta.7 In times of crisis or war in Europe the unit would concentrate in the Netherlands after being relieved by 3 Amphibious Combat Group. In case of crisis or war in the Antilles the unit would concentrate there. See further Marine Corps, Part I, note d, and Operational Roles.
g. 3 Amphibious Combat Group of the Marine Corps would be mobilised in the Netherlands to relieve 2 Amphibious Combat Group in the Netherlands Antilles if that unit would be concentrated in the Netherlands for its (wartime) NATO role in Europe. See further Marine Corps, Part I, note e, and Operational Roles. Of the three company groups that constituted 3 Amphibious Combat Group, 31 and 32 Company Group would be stationed at Naval Base Parera, Curaçao; 33 Company Group would be stationed at Marine Barracks Savaneta, Aruba.8
h. The Antillean Militia consisted of local conscript personnel and a small volunteer cadre. Militiamen served an active-duty period of twelve months. They were trained, clothed and equipped by the Marine Corps as "(conscript) marines, special services Netherlands Antilles" (mariniers van bijzondere diensten (zeemiliciën) Nederlandse Antillen). A Marine Corps training staff, Antillean cadre and two infantry platoons (1st and 2nd Infantry Platoon, strength 1/4/27 (32) each) were based on Curaçao as part of Detachment Suffisant. A small Marine Corps and Antillean training staff and one infantry platoon (3rd Infantry Platoon, 1/10/20 (31)) were based at Marine Barracks Savaneta on Aruba. The three infantry platoons together formed the Antillean Militia Infantry Company (Infanteriecompagnie Antilliaanse Militie) which in times of crisis or war would operate as security infantry in support of the marine units in the Netherlands Antilles (2 or 3 Amphibious Combat Group). It appears the company had no organic company staff; possibly the training staff would function as such, though it seems more likely that the platoons would be attached to Marine Corps units and operate under their commanders. The (politically determined) maximum number of Antillean men to be conscripted each year was two hundred, but this number was not met. Incorporating the Antillean militiamen into the Royal Navy organisation was often problematic. Cultural differences, a troubled history (slavery), language problems and deficient selection practices by the Antillean government limited the military value of the Militia.9
i. Mobilisable security infantry units consisting of Antillean Militia reservists led by reservist Marine Corps cadre from the Netherlands. The cadre (4/1/0 (5) per security detachment, 32/8/0 (40) in total) would probably be mobilised in the warning phase preceding actual mobilisation and flown in by airline. The eight security detachments would perform object security tasks, guarding naval installations and other vital objects. A 1986 document appears to show that six security detachments would operate from Naval Base Parera, Curaçao and two detachments from Marine Barracks Savaneta, Aruba.10    
j. Naval Base Parera housed the staff of Naval Command Netherlands Antilles and included harbour facilities, intelligence and signals elements, a diving and dismantling group (duik- en demonteergroep) and various logistic support services. The base provided logistic support to the station ship (see note b) and housed parts of 2 Amphibious Combat Group (see note f), which in times of crisis or war in Europe would be replaced by parts of 3 Amphibious Combat Group (see note g).11
k. Contingency security infantry company assembled from Royal Navy ('Fleet') personnel stationed at Naval Base Parera. Organised similar to an infantry company of the Marine Corps, but probably without support weapons. Armament included FN Browning Hi-Power pistols 9 mm, UZI submachine guns 9 mm, FN FAL battle rifles 7.62 mm and FN FALO squad automatic weapons 7.62 mm. The company, formed in 1981, would defend Naval Base Parera in times of crisis or war when Marine Corps units would be deployed elsewhere. It appears the company exercised about thirty days per year and was mainly composed of logistic personnel.12
l. Detachment of Navy Base Parera, until 1978 known as Marine Barracks Suffisant (Marinierskazerne Suffisant, MSKSUF). Marine Detachment Suffisant served as military education and training centre for the Antillean Militia; it included a Marine Corps training staff, and cadre and two infantry platoons of the Antillean Militia (see note h).13
m. Marine Barracks Savaneta housed parts of 2 Amphibious Combat Group (see note f), in times of crisis or war in Europe to be replaced by part of 3 Amphibious Combat Group (see note g).14
n. Shore Patrol Division Netherlands Antilles (Afdeling Marinepatrouilles Nederlandse Antillen, AMPNA) was a Royal Navy military police (MP) unit of the Marine Corps. Regarding its MP duties it was comparable to the Marine Corps Special Assistance Unit / Shore Patrol Division Netherlands; see Marine Corps, Part I, note i. The primary task of AMPNA, however, was securing the Governor of the Netherlands Antilles and his residence, Fort Amsterdam in Willemstad, Curaçao. AMPNA was based in said fort. Three sub-officers had the (civilian) status of special police officer (buitengewone agent van politie, BAVPOL). Besides performing MP patrols tasks included messenger services and providing escorts. Through personnel rotations a small, variable number of AMPNA marines were trained in counterterrorism and close quarters combat, having served with AMPNA's aforementioned sister unit in the Netherlands (seven men in 1982). This was not formalised however; in other words, AMPNA did not have a designated counterterrorism component.15
o. Because the source documents for personnel strengths, Royal Navy crew lists (bemanningslijsten, BL), are not exclusive (i.e. units or parts of units appear on multiple lists), an approximation has been made of the total CZMNA strengths. For the peacetime strength the numbers of the barracks, the station ship (176 men, presuming a Kortenaer-class frigate) and 336 Squadron have been added up; for the wartime strengths the barracks, the station ship, 336 Squadron, 3 Amphibious Combat Group and the security detachments have been counted. The resulting strengths have been rounded to decimals.16 It will be noted that 'wartime' here refers to war in Europe, not to a (territiorial) conflict in the Antilles or the Caribbean area. 

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1. Organisation: NL-HaNA 2.13.114, inv. nr. 8434, Opheffing functie intendant zeemacht in Nederland d.d. 25 juli 1980, bijlage (organisatieschema). Jaarboeken KM 1983-1987. Van Zwet, Beschermengel, 16. Additional sources are referenced below. Naval Command Netherlands Antilles (CZMNA) was redesignated Naval Command Caribbean (CZMCARIB) on 1 January 1986, as on that date Aruba seceded from the Netherlands Antilles and became a separate country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Jaarboek KM 1986, 143. Van Dissel en Groen, In de West, 96-97.
2. Staff organisation: NL-HaNA 2.13.114, inv. nr. 8434, op. cit. Ibid., inv. nr. 9625, BL CZMNA d.d. 2 mei 1984. RCDNA: Jensen en Platje, De MARID, 239-241. See also Kluiters, De Nederlandse, Supplement, 120-121. Areas of interest were the military communications of Venezuela, the diplomatic communications of Cuba and the high frequency network of the Soviet Navy. Jensen en Platje, loc. cit. Before and during the Falklands War (1982) RCDNA was able to read Argentinian military and diplomatic communications, of which the encryption had been rigged. Ibid. Jacobs, Maximator, 662-663. Website Marineschepen.nl, Waarom de Russen het Marineterrein in Amsterdam in de gaten hielden. Royal Military Constabulary: NIMH 430, inv. nr. 54 (Slagorde KL stand 1 juli 1985), MVD-KM. Roozenbeek et al., Een krachtig instrument, 195-196. See also Van der Deure, De Koninklijke, 16-17. Both Roozenbeek and Van der Deure report that the Royal Military Constabulary detachment was three rather than four men strong, and that in 1985 two additional sub-officers were deployed to Aruba. 
3. Jaarboek KM 1985, 105, 161. Jaarboek KM 1986, 145.
4. Jaarboek KM 1984, 315. Jaarboek KM 1986, 145. Jaarboek KM 1987, 292-294. According to Van Amstel Hr.Ms. Woerden entered service in the Antilles on 25 April 1986. Van Amstel, De schepen, 152.
5. Helfferich, Squadrons (1983), 132. Helfferich, Squadrons (1994), 219, 220. Tiggelman, 336 Squadron. Marchand, Vervlogen tijden. Website Nederlandse Modelbouw en Luchtvaartsite, Fokker F.27. See also website Aircraft of Dutch Manufacturers, Fokker F27 Mk.400M Maritime Patrol Aircraft ESCi injection kit. Apparently there is a difference of opinion whether Mk.200 or Mk.400 is correct; I followed Taylor, Jane's All The World's Aircraft 1985-86, 170. There is apparently also a difference of opinion whether the plane was fitted with more powerful engines (see for example website Nederlandse Modelbouw en Luchtvaartsite, ibid.), but it appears this was not the case. Taylor, ibid. Perhaps there is confusion with the two Fokker F.60MPA aircraft that performed the same role between 2005 and 2007. Marchand, ibid. Dr. Albert Plesman International Airport is nowadays known as Curaçao International Airport.
6. Tiggelman, ibid
7. NL-HaNA 2.13.141, inv. nr. 772, Reorganisatie opleidingen en 2AGGP d.d. 2 juli 1984. 
8. NL-HaNA 2.12.56, inv. nr. 6071, BL Marinebasis Parera 1982-1983. Ibid., inv. nr. 6104, BL Marinierskazerne Savaneta 1982-1983.
9. NL-HaNA 2.12.56, inv. nr. 6103, BL Detachement Suffisant 1982-1983. Ibid., inv. nr. 6104, BL Marinierskazerne Savaneta 1982-1983NL-HaNA 2.13.112, inv.nr. 873, Reorganisatie Antilliaanse Militie d.d. 29 juli 1985, Bijlage 6 (personeelssterkte ANTMIL). Jaarboek KM 1983, 463. Jaarboek KM 1985, 172. Van Dissel en Groen, In de west, 90-91. Haring, Mariniers 325 jaar, 23, 180. Van Zwet, loc. cit.
10. NL-HaNA 2.12.56, inv. nr. 5909, BL Bewakingsdetachementen Nederlandse Antillen, augustus 1983. NL-HaNA 2.13.112, inv. nr. 856, concept CZMCARIB OPORD 1 d.d. 6 november 1986, Bijlage A. NL-HaNA 2.13.141, inv. nr. 796, voorlopige studie "Reorganisatie mobilisabel personeel Korps Mariniers" d.d. 13 februari 1981, 4, 16, Bijlage 1, Bijvoegsel 5.
11. NL-HaNA 2.12.56, inv. nr. 6071, op. cit.
12. Jaarboek KM 1981, 438. Jaarboek KM 1982, 474. Jaarboek KM 1983, 457. Jaarboek KM 1984, 310. Additional information kindly provided by Marine Sergeant-Major A. Van der Pluijm (Rtd.), November 2021.
13. NL-HaNA, Archiefinventaris 2.13.112, 16. NL-HaNA 2.12.56, inv. nr. 6103, op. cit.
14. NL-HaNA 2.12.56, inv. nr. 6104, op. cit.
15. NL-HaNA 2.13.112, inv. nr. 89, Personeelssamenstelling AMPNA in relatie tot taakuitvoering d.d. 28 juni 1982. Ibid., inv. nr. 367, Reorganisatie AMPNA d.d. 5 juli 1985. NL-HaNA 2.13.141, inv. nr. 272, Halfjaarlijks verslag AMPNA d.d. 26 oktober 1984.
16. For the approximate war strength 3 Amphibious Combat Group has been counted as, for some reason, it is listed but not counted in the war strengths (oorlogsbemanningslijsten, OBL) of Naval Base Parera and Marine Barracks Savaneta. NL-HaNA 2.12.56, inv. nr. 6071, op. cit. Ibid., inv. nr. 6104, op. cit. See also Marine Corps, the lower part of footnote 1.