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US Army 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade; Rotterdam, July 6, 2020

Operation Atlantic Resolve, part 2; Text, Videos & Photograph's by Alex van Noye

The 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade of the 3st Infantry Division is the fifth division's deployment in Europe as part of Operation Atlantic Resolve. The unit would withdraw to the United States in July 2020. The unit will leave Europe via the port of Rotterdam and will be relieved by the 101CAB. The Netherlands will act as host country for the withdrawal of the soldiers and the equipment of the 3rd Infantry Division. This Dutch Defense deployment falls under the so-called Host Nation Support. NATO allies support each other in military movements across each other's territory. This involves the relocation of more than 5,200 soldiers, 85 Abrams battle tanks, 77 helicopters and hundreds of other vehicles and equipment. The Dutch Defense supports the transports with, among other things, dozens of soldiers. The helicopters being relocated include well over 77 UH-60 Blackhawks, AH-64 Apaches and CH-47 Chinooks. The helicopters fly a route from Germany in which they go via Eindhoven Air Base to the Waalhaven in the Rotterdam port area. During the withdrawal from Europe via the port of Rotterdam, the helicopters fly a long route from Germany to their final destination in Rotterdam. A total of 48 helicopters would fly to the port of Rotterdam. These helicopters came from various German airfields such as Ansbach and Wiesbaden. The helicopters made a stopover at Eindhoven Air Base for the last part of the ferry. The helicopters would fly to Rotterdam on demand from Eindhoven. The terrain in Rotterdam is not large, so not all helicopters could fly there at the same time.

All helicopters are taken apart in the harbor in the Waal area for transport. The helicopters then go to the United States by ship. The mechanized brigade of the 3rd Infantry Division will also leave the country by ship via the port of Rotterdam. This caravan travels through the Netherlands by road, train and inland vessels. The American transport ship Endurance will take all helicopters and also the vehicles brought to Rotterdam by train back to the United States. The port area is a temporary military area and is therefore guarded by units of the army with a dog section. Defense also supplies fuel and transports some of the American equipment by trucks. The Marechaussee guides the military columns on the Dutch roads. The Americans also use Defense locations as accommodation and office spaces. The navy provides port protection on and under water with, among other things, diving vessels with diving teams, ships, quay and port inspections. The Netherlands provides support throughout this logistics operation as part of the so-called Host Nation Support. This means that as a host country, the Netherlands will support the American units in the performance of their tasks by mainly providing facilities. The Americans have brought over 300 personnel to the port to dismantle the army equipment. The helicopter units of the 3CAB are relieved by the 101CAB, which at the same time enter the European country via the port of La Rochelle in France.

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