Command Netherlands 1
der Zeemacht in Nederland (CZMNED)
Part I: The Fleet (Sea)
Naval Command Netherlands [a]
|Group of Escort
by Naval Commander Netherlands (Commandant der Zeemacht in Nederland,
CZMNED). Since November 1984 CZMNED had his war headquarters in the new
Netherlands (Maritiem Hoofdkwartier Nederland, MHKNED) in Julianadorp
(Den Helder). CZMNED held the NATO
Commander, Benelux Channel Command (COMBENECHAN, also known as
Commander, Benelux Subarea Channel); thus MHKNED was also HQ
COMBENECHAN. In addition, in wartime CZMNED
would have operational command over ships and units of the Belgian
Navy as Admiral Benelux (Admiraal Benelux, ABNL).2
Group of Escort Forces (Commandant Groep Escorteschepen, CGES) was also
Commander of the Squadron (Commandant Eskader, CESK), in wartime
Commander, First Netherlands Task Group (COMNLTG1), see below.3
The Fleet (Sea)
organisational chart above shows the sea-going part of the
Fleet: the Royal Navy's submarines, frigates and
Together with the Marine
Corps, the Fleet
'business end' of the Royal Navy.
For logistical and administrative purposes the Fleet was subdivided
into five type-oriented groups of operational units, the first
three of which are displayed above the dotted line:
grouping was known as the "type-organisation", which was designed to
maintain and make available the Royal Navy's means to conduct naval
operations. For any such operations, be it in peace or
war, the Royal Navy would employ the "task organisation"
concept. From the type-organisation Naval Commander Netherlands
would form temporary organisations tailored to specific
task groups (TG). Task groups could be subdivided into task units (TU)
task elements (TE), as needed. This
two-stage organisation closely followed NATO doctrine. The Fleet had
the NATO designation Task Force 429, call sign TG 429.4
Submarine Service (Onderzeedienst, OZD) with all submarines and
the torpedo tender;
Group of Escort Forces (Groep Escorteschepen, GES) comprising all
frigates and the two fast combat support ships;
Mine Service (Mijnendienst, MD) with all mine
countermeasures vessels: minehunters and minesweepers. Also part of
this group were the three patrol craft and the three
hydrographical survey ships.
In peacetime Naval Command Netherlands operated with four task groups,
as shown in the chart below the dotted line:
Fleet, or Task Force 429, was unlikely to ever operate as a single
force in wartime, as its subordinate task groups, including those to be
formed on mobilisation (NLTG3/TG 429.6 and MBFLOT2/TG 429.2) were
earmarked to operate under different NATO commanders.
Squadron (Eskader, ESK), in NATO context known as Netherlands
(NLTG); NATO call sign TG 429.5. In peacetime the Squadron was
basically the Netherlands' standing naval force, in principle
permanently at sea. The Squadron handled the last phase of working up
crews and ships to NATO operational readiness requirements and would
part in several NATO and multinational naval exercises. Each year the
Squadron would undertake three sea
journeys (winter, spring, autumn), of which at least one longer than
six weeks. The Squadron would at minimum comprise
one Tromp-class frigate (flagship), four Kortenaer or Van Speijk-class
with helicopters embarked, and one fast combat support ship.5
In wartime the Squadron
would become the First Netherlands Task Group
(NLTG1), for which the Royal Navy used the Dutch designation Eerste
(First Escort Group).6
(Fregattensquadron, FREGRON), NATO call sign TG 429.4. The Frigate
Squadron handled the first phases of working up ships and crews to
exercise-readiness, which phase was concluded with a four-week
auspices of the Royal (UK) Navy's Flag Officer Sea Training (FOST)
Portland, United Kingdom. After this, the ships would go to the
Squadron. The Frigate Squadron
usually comprised between one and three ships, which
combat support ships and submarines. The squadron would work up about
six ships per year and on average contribute to the operational
readiness of seven
to ten other ships, including frigates of the Belgian Navy. To prepare
for his wartime role the
of the Frigate Squadron (CFREGRON) would, in addition, each year lead a
group of frigates during
various NATO or multinational naval exercises.7
the Frigate Squadron would most likely become the Second Netherlands
Task Group (NLTG2),
in Dutch: Tweede Escortegroep (Second Escort Group).8
Countermeasures Flotilla 1 (Mijnenbestrijdingsflottielje 1, MBFLOT1),
NATO call sign TG 429.1. Mine countermeasures (MCM) flotillas would, as
needed, be subdivided into
task units: per flotilla probably up to three MCM squadrons
MBRON) and up to six task elements: MCM divisions
(Mijnenbestrijdingsdivisie, MBDIV). It appears an MCM
squadron usually comprised four to six vessels, an MCM
two vessels. The flotilla operated from Den Helder, mainly with
Countermeasures Flotilla 3 (Mijnenbestrijdingsflottielje 3, MBFLOT3),
NATO call sign TG 429.3. Operated from Vlissingen, mainly with
ships of the Group of Escort Forces were in principle permanently in
service. Kortenaer-class frigates would be taken in for a five-month
maintenance period every three years. The other ships of the Group
would each spend four months in maintenance every two years.
impression is that the mine countermeasure vessels were
permanently in service. The submarines would be in maintenance for six
months every two and a half years.11
Submarines were not part of a task group though they could of course
operate in support of one. They probably operated individually most of
the time. In peacetime the submarines fell under operational control of
Naval Commander Netherlands, with operational command delegated to the
Commander of the Submarine Service (Commandant Onderzeedienst, COZD).
The mission of the Submarine Service was threefold:
Submarine Service worked closely with its British counterpart and
frequently operated from Faslane (Naval Base Clyde) in Scotland, under
operational command of the British Flag Officer Submarines (FOSM).13
for war operations by taking part in national and NATO
the opportunity for surface units, aircraft and other
submarines, predominantly from the Royal Navy and the Royal
(UK) Navy, to realistically exercise anti-submarine warfare (ASW)
secret national or NATO reconnaissance, surveillance and intelligence
NATO Standing Naval Forces
Royal Navy was a regular participant in NATO's two permanent
multinational, integrated naval squadrons: Standing Naval Force
Atlantic (STANAVFORLANT) and Standing Naval Force Channel
(STANAVFORCHAN). These were the Immediate Reaction
Forces of Supreme Allied Commander Atlantic
(SACLANT) and Commander-in-Chief Channel (CINCHAN)
to provide a
quick military response to emerging crises as well as
providing a permanent display of allied solidarity, vigilance
and military integration (see also NATO Commands, Multinational Forces). The standard
contribution of the Royal Navy was one frigate from the Group of Escort
Ships to STANAVFORLANT, and two mine
countermeasure vessels, one from each Mine Countermeasures
Flotilla, to STANAVFORCHAN.14
2.13.114, inv. nr. 8434, Doelstellingen, taken en organisatie
commandement der zeemacht in Nederland d.d. 13 november 1979, Bijlage
(organisatieschema). NL-HaNA 2.13.114, inv.
nr. 9352, Indeling eenheden in diensten en groepen (etc.) d.d. 15
januari 1981. NL-HaNA 2.13.182, inv. nr.
535, NDPP Concept krijgsmachtdeelplan Koninklijke Marine 1984-1993 d.d.
maart 1983, Hoofdstuk III. NL-HaNA
2.13.114, inv. nr. 9896, Voorstel bemanningslijst groep escorteschepen
d.d. 16 januari 1984, Bijlage 1, Bijlage 3. NL-HaNA 2.13.114, inv. nr.
9657, concept Verzameling van Verordeningen voor de Koninklijke Marine
195B (VVKM 195B) inzake de opdracht, taken en organisatie van de
zeestrijdkrachten d.d. 3 mei 1984, 1/2-4 t/m 1/2-7, 3-3, 3-4. HTK
1983-1984, kamerstuknr. 18169 ondernr. 2
(Defensienota 1984-1993), 87. Jaarboek KM 1987, 177.
Headquarters Netherlands: NL-HaNA 2.13.182, inv. nr. 535, op.
cit., 28. Jaarboek
KM 1984, 129, 154. Jaarboek KM 1985, 92. In
peacetime CZMNED was headquartered in the "commandementsgebouw", also
known as "Het Paleis" ("The Palace") in Den Helder. Jaarboek
KM 1986, 76. Website Beelbank NIMH, commandementsgebouw CZMNED. Before
1984 CZMNED had his war headquarters in Koudekerke on the island of
Walcheren, Zeeland. NL-HaNA 2.13.182, inv. nr.
cit. NL-HaNA 2.13.114, inv. nr. 9352, Typechefschap d.d. 17 april 1980.
Admiral Benelux: NL-HaNA 2.13.182, inv. nr. 535, op. cit., 27, 29, 35.
evolutie en toekomst, Deel 1.
2.13.114, inv. nr. 9352, Indeling eenheden in diensten en groepen
(etc.) d.d. 15 januari 1981, 5, 7, 10. NL-HaNA 2.12.56, inv.
6040, Voorstel wijziging BL 5101/STAFEKD d.d. 23 juni 1982, Bijlage A. NL-HaNA
2.13.114, inv. nr. 9896, op. cit., Bijlage 1. NL-HaNA
2.12.56, inv. nr. 9575, BL 5101 STAFEKD d.d. 12 maart 1984.
means that Naval Commander Netherlands was, in addition to the
nomenclature listed in note a, also known as Commander, Task Force 429
(CTF 429). To further
waters, this NATO designation was
apparently changed into Admiral Netherlands Fleet in 1984.
NL-HaNA 2.12.56, inv. nr. 2119,
Aanvullingsblad voor de Koninklijke Marine nr. 5 op Task Organization
Call Sign Book ACP 112(B) d.d. 19 juli 1984. A summary
may be in order: Naval Commander Netherlands (Commandant der Zeemacht
in Nederland, CZMNED) =
Commander, Task Force 429 (CTF 429) = Admiral Netherlands Fleet = Admiral
Benelux (Admiraal Benelux, ABNL) =
Commander, Benelux Channel Command (COMBENECHAN).
2.13.182, inv. nr. 535, op. cit., 64, 84. HTK
1983-1984, op. cit., 90.
Composition of the Squadron: for example, during
its 1985 winter journey to the Mediterranean Sea, the
Squadron was composed of Tromp-class
frigate F 801 Hr.Ms. Tromp
(flag ship); Kortenaer-class
frigates F 808 Hr.Ms. Callenburgh, F
809 Hr.Ms Van Kinsbergen and F 811 Hr.Ms. Piet Heyn; Van
Speijk-class frigates F 803 Hr.Ms. Van Galen and F 814 Hr.Ms.
Sweers; fast combat support ship A 832
Hr.Ms. Zuiderkruis; and four
helicopters. During 1985 the Squadron took part in three
NATO exercises and two multinational exercises. Jaarboek KM 1985, 95-96.
be noted that the Squadron
was known under a somewhat bewildering number of designations: Eskader
peacetime), Eerste Escortegroep (Dutch, wartime), Netherlands Task
Group (NATO, peacetime), First Netherlands Task Group (NATO, wartime),
Task Group 429.5 (NATO, peace and wartime). Jane's Fighting Ships 1985-86 adds
to the variety with the designation Anti-Submarine Warfare Group I.
Moore, op. cit., 348.
KM 1984, 23, 167-168. Jaarboek KM 1985, 101-102. Jaarboek KM 1986,
2.13.114, inv. nr. 9352, Indeling
eenheden in diensten en groepen (etc.) d.d. 15 januari 1981,
7. Ibid., Commentaar op S 155.406/145939 d.d. 2 februari 1981.
NL-HaNA 2.13.114, inv. nr. 9352, Reorganisatie groep escorteschepen
d.d. 14 april 1983, Bijlage A.
1984 MBLOT1 was composed of MBRON11 with seven Alkmaar-class minehunters, and
MDIV141 with Dokkum-class minehunter M 842 Hr.Ms. Veere (decommissioned
on 19 October 1984) and Dokkum-class diving tender
M 820 Hr.Ms. Woerden. Jaarboek KM 1984, 196, 211. Jaarboek KM 1985 does
not report subdivisions of the flotilla. Throughout 1985 MBFLOT1
operated with all operational Alkmaar-class minehunters, comprising
between six and eight minehunters; also assigned for the larger part of
the year was the Dokkum-class diving tender M 820 Hr.Ms. Woerden.
Jaarboek KM 1985, 123-124.
MBFLOT3 was composed of MBRON31 with Alkmaar-class minehunters
M 852 Hr.Ms. Dordrecht and M 855 Hr.Ms. Scheveningen; MBRON32 with Dokkum-class minesweepers M
809 Hr.Ms. Naaldwijk, M 810 Hr.Ms. Abcoude,
M 812 Hr.Ms. Drachten, M
813 Hr.Ms. Ommen, M 823 Hr.Ms. Naarden and M
830 Hr.Ms. Sittard; MBDIV341
diving tender M 806
2.13.182, inv. nr. 535, op. cit., 62. Jaarboek KM 1984, 325-330 (In
dienst zijnde eenheden in 1984).
2.13.182, inv. nr. 535, op. cit., 66. See
Jaime Karremann, In
het diepste geheim. Spionage-operaties van Nederlandse onderzeeboten
van 1968 tot 1991 (Amsterdam:
Marineschepen.nl, 2017). English edition: In Deepest Secrecy: Dutch
Submarine Espionage Operations from 1968 to 1991).
2.13.182, inv. nr. 535, loc. cit.
2.13.182, inv. nr. 535, op. cit., 61, 64-65, 71. Participants in
STANAVFORLANT in 1985: Kortenaer-class
F 823 Hr.Ms. Philips van Almonde (up to January), F 825 Hr.Ms. Jan van
Brakel (January-June), F 826 Hr.Ms. Pieter Florisz (June-end of
November). Jaarboek KM 1985, 21, 109-111. Participants in STANAVFORCHAN
in 1985: Dokkum-class minesweepers M 813
Hr.Ms. Ommen and M 830 Hr.Ms. Sittard (up to June), Alkmaar-class minehunters M 851
Hr.Ms. Delfzijl (May-November), and M 853 Hr.Ms.
Haarlem (November-December). During September the Alkmaar-class
minehunter M 856 Hr.Ms. Maassluis and the Dokkum-class
minesweepers M 809 Hr.Ms. Naaldwijk and M 823 Hr.Ms. Naarden
were added to STANAVFORCHAN for the NATO exercise Ocean Safari '85.
Jaarboek KM 1985, 21-22, 124-126, 129-130.