Defence departmentDefence attaché: LtCol. Robbert Verbrugh
Assistant defence attaché: Mr. Erwin Muetstege
Interpreter: Ms. Jelena Šimić-Pavić
The head of the Defence department is the Defence attaché who works with the help of his assistant and a local employee. The Defence attaché is the military representative of the Netherlands Minister of Defence and the Commander of the Netherlands Armed Forces.
The main task of the Defence department is to develop and maintain military cooperation between the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the Republic of Serbia and Republic of Montenegro, to assist with the development of security and democracy and to help with the military reform process of both countries. The Defence department informs the different authorities in the Netherlands about relevant developments in the area of defence. The Defence department maintains close contacts with Serbian and Montenegrin military authorities but also with the other Defence attachés.
Through bilateral agreements with both countries the Ministry of Defence of the Netherlands supports numerous activities and projects, to mention some:
The LOAC course, licensed by the International Institute of Humanitarian Law in Sanremo, Italy, is organized annually in the PKOC (Peace Keeping Operation Centre) in Belgrade. Participants from different countries in the region have been taught on the laws on armed conflict by eminent staff from Canada, the Netherlands, Austria and Serbia.
The regional seminar on civil- military cooperation took place in 2008 for the first time at the PKOC (Peace Keeping Operation Centre) in Belgrade. The seminar is held under the organization of Serbian Armed Forces General Staff and the Ministry of Defense of the Netherlands and Canada. The seminar is besides MoD members, also attended by representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Albania, BiH, Macedonia and Montenegro, the Red Cross of Serbia, UN High Commission for Refugees. Read more
The course is organized at the NDC (Netherlands Defence College) in The Hague. The ISOOC Balkans course, which first took place in the spring of 2006, is aimed at (potential) PfP-members in the West-Balkan countries. The aim of the ISOOC SE Europe course is to provide insight into how the defence organisation of a NATO member state, such as the Netherlands, is organised and how it operates in a continuously changing environment. Also the type of leadership this requires is addressed.
The defence department contributed to the opening of 10 self-access centres for learning English in garrisons across Serbia, enabling young officers and soldiers easier learning of the English language. The PELT project also includes English language courses for members of the Serbian and Montenegrin Ministries of Defence and Armed Forces. Read more
NCO project The Ministry of Defence of the Kingdom of the Netherlands provides assistance to the reform process in Serbia by providing support to the forming of an Non Commissioned Officers (NCO) corps in Serbia, in cooperation with the Royal Military School in the Netherlands. Read more
NATO Trust Fund project
The NATO PfP Trust Fund provides further assistance to the discharged defence personnel by giving loans or grants to enable them to start their own business. Read more
The Netherlands is sponsoring the reconstruction of a historical officers’ club into a multimedia facility in Vranje. This facility should create conditions for open press communication in order to reduce regional tensions. Read more
MONDEM is a joint programme of the Government of Montenegro, UNDP and OSCE. It was established in April 2007, as a result of an earlier request by the Ministry of Defence to UNDP for an independent assessment of the demilitarization and safe storage capacities for SALW and a request for assistance made by the Ministry of Defence of Montenegro to the OSCE’s Forum for Security Co-operation in February 2007. The Netherlands already has donated 1.3 million USD for the MONDEM programme in Montenegro; the destroying and storage of surplus and old ammunition and arms.
The UNMOC objective is to educate and train officers to serve as fully qualified United Nations Military Observers in UN Peace Support Operations. Over the years numerous students from Serbia and Montenegro successfully participated in this course, which proved to be an excellent preparation for UN-missions abroad. Read more
The past years we have witnessed the growing importance of combined joint military operations among member states in conducting crisis management operations and humanitarian assistance operations around the globe. Differences in size and composition of national contingents participating in such an international force call for co-operation in all spheres and certainly in the area of military medicine. This is of paramount importance if success is to be registered. It is within this context that the Surgeon General of the Netherlands Armed Forces invites International Military Medical Officers to attend the “Battlefield Advanced Trauma Life Support” (BATLS) Course. Read more
The Ministry of Defence of the Netherlands assists the Ministry of Defence of Montenegro with the development of its Coast Guard. (The fact that Montenegro is one of the countries with borders on the outside of the European territory makes this project even more important) Read more
Recently the Serbian Ministry of Defence implemented its Gender Policy which is recorded in the “National Action Plan of the Republic of Serbia for the implementation of the United Nations Resolution 1325”. Since this Gender Policy is still new, the Serbian Ministry of Defence has asked several countries, including the Netherlands, for assistance with the implementation. Gender Policy is implemented to increase the number of females, to change the culture and take measurements to improve ‘labour and care’ within the Serbian Armed Forces. Read more
Human Resources Management Course
Workshop tailored to the specific needs of invited PfP-countries. The purpose of this workshop is to provide insight into the personnel and organizational aspects of the transition from a conscript oriented Armed Forces to an expeditionary professional Armed Forces. Read more
Exchange of Cadet Military Academies
Cadets from both the Netherlands Royal Military Academy and Serbian Military Academy are visiting each other in order to gain more understanding and to share experiences with one another.