The Commanders Respond: Vice Admiral Mattieu Borsboom - Royal Netherlands Navy

The arena that will continue to shape the long-standing cooperation between the U.S. Navy and the Royal Netherlands Navy (RNLN) is this: Demonstrating the relevance of maritime power through increasingly effective and efficient responses to all threats.

I cannot see that extensive cooperation decreasing. Quite the contrary. Other players may join the arena, but in a closely connected global society so dependent on free access to resources and unhindered transportation by sea, combined efforts focusing on the common and crucial goal of maritime safety and security will most assuredly continue.

There is, however, another reality, one of budget reductions. Those force all of us to look closely at working together, not at sea, but even before we make it out to sea. Cooperation is designing new equipment, sharing lessons, education and training, and running programs. I concede that geographic distances and differences in culture, doctrine, and equipment may create hurdles. But those hurdles are there to be taken.

I am convinced that the U.S. Navy and the RNLN will continue to work together. Our common history, shared experiences and mutual commitment to maritime safety and security provide a strong basis, regardless of what one may of may not see in any crystal ball.



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