Royal Netherlands Air Force (RNLAF) F-16AM fighter jet from 312 squadron based at Volkel. (Image © Marcel Burger)

“Netherlands threatens USA because of nukes”

Royal Netherlands Air Force (RNLAF) F-16AM fighter jet from 312 squadron based at Volkel. (Image © Marcel Burger)
Royal Netherlands Air Force (RNLAF) F-16AM fighter jet from 312 squadron based at Volkel. (Image © Marcel Burger)

The Netherlands is threatening the United States because of American nuclear bombs at Volkel Airbase, reports the Dutch public TV program Brandpunt Reporter Wednesday August 28th, 2013.

The collision between the two allies is not about the presence of the nukes, but rather about the financial impact in case something goes wrong. In short: the Netherlands wants the US to pay for an accident with one or more of the American nuclear bombs, say sources to TV investigative reporters. The Netherlands are said to threaten to cancel flights of US military aircraft through Dutch airspace if the Americans don’t compromise.

It is a public secret that Dutch Volkel Airbase is home to anything from 4 to 22 nuclear bombs, stored there since at least the 1960s. Officially their existence has never been confirmed, but US personnel is assigned to the Dutch base and mainly guard a separate section. Moreover, former Dutch prime minister Mr. Ruud Lubbers did talk about them in a recent National Geographic documentary.

From the 1970s to well into the 1990s Royal Netherlands Air Force F-16 fighter jets at Volkel trained for nuclear bombardment of targets in Eastern Europe. Since the Cold War between the American-led NATO and the Russia-led Warsaw Pact ended in the mids of the 1990s, the nuclear bombs remain in case they will ever be deemed needed by NATO allies or the US itself.

According to one of the sources the TV program spoke to the nuclear weapons are routinely rotated, meaning transport of nuclear weapons through the air by USAF C-17 Globemaster III strategic airlifters from the 62nd Airlift Wing. The Netherlands seem to be most afraid that one of the transport flights ends up in disaster.

© 2013 AIRheads’ Marcel Burger

Check out the Royal Netherlands Air Force Orbat at Scramble.nl