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Netherlands Special Operating Forces (SOF)


De Nederlandse stalen helm 1916-1992

Special Operation Forces of the Netherlands Armed Forces

The international security situation has changed and Special Operations Forces (SOF) are in high demand. Special Operations (SO) operations are distinguished by flexibility and a high degree of independent action. This commitment also guarantees a small footprint and great precision. SOF are well suited for interventions in "hybrid" conflict situations, in counterterrorism and against irregularly operating opponents. SOF also play a prominent role in image building in the pre-conflict phase and in capacity building to prevent conflicts.

The name Special Forces (SF) is often misused and in most cases it actually refers to Special Operations Forces (SOF).

In the NATO Allied Joint Doctrine for Special Operations, SO are described as follows:


SOF units perform special operations consisting of:

- Direct Action (DA): short offensive actions,
- Special Reconnaissance (SR): long-range reconnaissance for the purpose of gathering strategic intelligence,
- Military Assistance (MA): assistance to educate and train friendly units.

The Netherlands has two SOF units, namely the Korps Commandotroepen (KCT) of the Royal Netherlands Army and the Netherlands Maritime Special Operations Forces (NLMARSOF) of the Marine Corps.

Since 2018, all Dutch SOF operations are centrally managed by NLD SOCOM, an operational staff that plans, directs, executes and evaluates all Dutch SOF operations.

In the underlying pages you can view documents regarding current Dutch Special Operations Forces, their predecessors, NLD SOCOM and the Brigade Special Security Assignments (BSB) of the Royal Netherlands Marechaussee (KMar).

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