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NLMARSOF

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De Nederlandse stalen helm 1916-1992


Netherlands Maritime Special Operations Forces (NLMARSOF)


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The Netherlands Maritime Special Operations Forces (NLMARSOF, also known as MARSOF) are the Special Operations Forces (SOF) of the Dutch Marine Corps. NLMARSOF consists of three special units, merged into two operational squadrons, which can be deployed for a wide range of special operations. These units often cooperate with the Command Force Troops (KCT) and units from other countries, including the United Kingdom, Australia, Belgium, Germany and Denmark.


Since 1 January 2013, the Unit Intervention Marines (UIM) and the Maritime Special Operations (MSO) company fall under the umbrella of NLMARSOF and within NLMARSOF each operator is qualified as counterterrorist (CT).

Although NLMARSOF has only been in existence for a short time, the units within it have been active within the SOF (Special Operations Forces) community since 1963.

NLMARSOF can be deployed day and night worldwide to combat terrorism. They also conduct secret explorations and special missions on land and sea. NLMARSOF's motto is, "Nec timid, nec tumide" ("Without fear, without hubris").


The MSO company consisted of the 2 specialist reconnaissance units, Mountain Leaders and Special Forces Underwater Operators (frogmen). The integration of these three units aimed to create an improved and clearer collaboration where one can support each other during operations. The 2 current SOF squadrons arose from this integration; M-Squadron and C-Squadron.


The M-Squadron is the current counter-terror unit of the Marine Corps. The Netherlands received its first counter-terror unit in 1973, following the attack on Palestinian Fatah terrorists on 11 Israeli athletes during the Munich Olympics. The members were chosen from the Marine Corps and until 2005 this unit was known as Special Assistance Unit Marines (BBE-M). From 2005 the name of BBE-M changes to Unit Intervention Marines (UIM) and since 2008 the UIM has also been active in the Gulf of Aden near Somalia to protect ships against pirates.

Their motto is, "Semper Paratus Pro Justitia" ("Always ready for justice").


The DSI is the umbrella organization for special units within the Dutch police and armed forces that deal with counterterrorism. This service includes:


- Arrest and Support Units (AOT)

- M-Squadron

- Unit Expertise & Operational Support (UE&OO)

- Intervention Unit


The C-Squadron consists of the conventional maritime special forces, the mountain leaders and frogmen. These units focus, among other things, on special (long-distance) explorations.

On January 17, 1959, the leadership of the Marine Corps requested permission from the Minister of the Navy to train two officers of the Marines at the naval diving company. The intention was to make the officers of the Marines competent in acting as a frogman. Permission came and two Marines officers took the dive officer course. The officers completed the course and began to broaden their expertise in America, France and England. Here the officers delved into the following topics: advanced (combat) diving, compass swimming, skydiving of different heights and mud crawling (usually tugging in the wetsuit in the sand by the surf). This resulted in a new training for the Marine Corps, since two experienced frogmen were at their disposal and more had to follow for the effective performance of the (future) task. The officers who had followed frogman training were official frogman instructors from April 1962. Where the aspect with the first two frogmen of the corps had focused on gaining experience, the aspect now lay on the physical testing of the marines who wanted to become a frogman and learning how to perform specific reconnaissance and intelligence tasks. In 1963 the start of the project was completed and the Marine Corps had a Fixed Frog Squad (VKP).

The Amphibious Reconnaissance Platoon is now a full-fledged special force and consists of Special Forces Underwater Operators, also known as the Frogmen (KVM). They specialize in special operations in amphibious conditions.


The Mountain Leader Reconnaissance Platoon (MLVERKPEL) consists of military mountain guides, specialized in warfare in mountainous terrain and under Arctic conditions. They excel at mountain sports, such as rock climbing, ice climbing, routing and surviving at low temperatures. The first Dutch cold-weather specialists date from 1970.


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