As decades-long partners, the United States and the Netherlands have maintained relations through thick and thin, including the COVID-19 pandemic. Both countries have been quick to adapt their military training procedures to uphold COVID-19 guidelines, while maintaining a high level of mission readiness and combat effectiveness. In March 2021, 2d Reconnaissance (Recon) Battalion, 2d Marine Division, hosted the 32nd Raiding Squadron (RSQN) for Exercise Caribbean Urban Warrior. To prepare for operations in urban terrain and increase interoperability between the Dutch and 2d Recon, Exercise Caribbean Urban Warrior utilized Camp Lejeune’s expansive training areas, advanced facilities, and assets available under the II Marine Expeditionary Force.
On a sniper range, teams tested their skills with long-range weapons at known and unknown distance targets. In an Infantry Immersion Trainer and the several Military Operations on Urbanized Terrain (MOUT) facilities on base, squad to company-level teams rehearsed clearing and securing areas, taking notional enemy contact, and treating. In the final stage of the exercise, 2d Recon conducted high altitude, low opening parachute inserts with CH-53E Super Stallions helicopters to infiltrate objectives for reconnaissance and surveillance operations. With the information from 2d Recon, the Dutch were able to maneuver efficiently through the woods and swamps of Lejeune to conduct raids and deliberate attacks on the objective.
Dutch Marines with 32nd Raiding Squadron provide suppressive fire while mounted on a Dutch Military Vehicle (DMV) Anaconda during Exercise Caribbean Urban Warrior. The DMV Anaconda is a light 4×4 vehicle in the 7-tonne class. Vehicle is based on an Italian Iveco chassis. The power pack consists of a 3-liter Iveco diesel engine generating 180 HP (430 Nm), coupled to an automatic transmission with one reverse and five forward gears. This enables the vehicle to reach a maximum speed of 110 km/h and a maximum range of 1,000 km. The first 36 DMV Anaconda tactical vehicles developed by the Deba Bedrijfswagens B.V. will be formally transferred to the Mariniers Korps on 31 January 2019.
From the Netherlands Marine Corps base in Savaneta, Aruba, the 32nd RSQN protects the Dutch Antilles, conducts counter illicit trafficking operations, supports local authorities, and provides humanitarian aid when needed. As the exercise came to a close, plans for 2d Recon to travel to Aruba in the coming months were already being finalized. In Aruba, the units will work together again, but in open-water and dive training for Exercise Coastal Caribbean Warrior. Both Exercise Caribbean Urban Warrior and Coastal Caribbean Warrior intertwine the units to increase interoperability and lethality in diverse environments. Working together, both units enhanced the skillset needed to deploy across the globe to defeat tomorrow’s enemies.