MILAVIA Forum - Military Aviation Discussion Forum

Author Topic: Security shortcomings at Dutch military bases  (Read 3626 times)

Offline tigershark

  • News Editor
  • General of Flight
  • *******
  • Posts: 2025
Security shortcomings at Dutch military bases
« on: October 15, 2008, 02:28:57 AM »
Security shortcomings at Dutch military bases

By Nicola Chadwick


The Dutch ministry of defence has tightened security with immediate effect at military bases in the Netherlands following an undercover TV programme which exposed alarming shortcomings in security at the bases.
In the programme Undercover in Nederland, reporter Alberto Stegeman entered military bases without authorisation in Woensdrecht and Havelte.

He managed to gain access to F16 fighter planes, sleep at one of the bases and take a military truck without being challenged. He subsequently drove the truck on public roads and parked it inside another base, again  without being stopped at any point. The army was not even aware that the vehicle had been taken and it remained unnoticed until the reporter handed in the keys a week later.

Defence has called the video footage "worrying" and announced it will carry out an investigation into the matter. The incident has also been reported to the Military Police. The defence ministry found it alarming that its own staff aided the programme makers by tipping off the journalist and providing a set of keys - which, incidentally, fit any Dutch military vehicle.
Dutch MPs are shocked by the film. The GreenLeft opposition party is demanding a parliamentary inquiry and an emergency debate with Defence Minister Eimert van Middelkoop next week during the autumn recess. GreenLeft leader Femke Halsema said, 

"The security of military objects is a joke especially after a critical report by the Dutch Audit Office in 2005."

Up to now there does not appear to be enough support in the Lower House for an inquiry, as other parties want to question the minister during debates already scheduled for the coming weeks.

The ministry points out it would be impossible to provide 100-percent security at all its bases. According to a spokesperson:
"The security of crucial and indispensable systems is given the highest priority."

On this basis, it might appear safe to conclude that the Dutch army can afford to miss a few trucks.


Offline Gripen

  • General of Flight
  • *******
  • Posts: 1390
  • Country: au
Re: Security shortcomings at Dutch military bases
« Reply #1 on: October 15, 2008, 11:40:17 AM »
So, did the reporter who slept at the base and took the truck get in trouble?

Offline Webmaster

  • MILAVIA Webmaster
  • Administrator
  • General of Flight
  • *******
  • Posts: 2843
  • Country: nl
Re: Security shortcomings at Dutch military bases
« Reply #2 on: October 16, 2008, 06:05:22 AM »
Although without doubt he exposed some procedures and rules not being followed, it has been a bit blown up. Security is prevention, and if you seriously want to do harm, there's always a way unless you set up really tight security and surveillance. But tight procedures at the gate, with kilometres of fences and additional gates being virtually unguarded doesn't prevent a terrorist or extremist anyway. Does the Dutch public want to pay for 100% proofed security? Nope. And does it weigh up against the loss incurred when a F-16 is being blown up or occassional stealing of equipment? Probably not... But well yes, security can always better and procedures should be followed better, but this is largely a matter of the low morale!

He got the key to the room from someone inside, who supplied him the uniforms as well. He got the tip about the bus not being checked from someone inside. He got the keys to the truck from someone who left the military. Now these are signs that something is wrong about the mentality or attitude of these individuals or the personnel on a whole. Again, not really surprising, but even more concerning. Okay, this lead to the conclusion that the concerns of personnel about security or not being heard and not acted upon. This is the real message of the persons involved, including the reporter, and it has been picked up by the defense ministry. Unfortunately, the opposition parties did not see that but rather see it as ammunition for their campaigns. Femke Halsema is very naive on many things, or at least acts as if she is...

Actually I don't dare to name any country where to a certain level the same wouldn't have been possible... maybe with the US being the only exception... but I am not even sure about all the bases inside the US... probably just as well with a bit more effort.

Finally the alert state sign at the entrance of the army base showed the lowest level... so the claim made in the program about security alert state still being high was incorrect.

He parked the truck, as far as I could tell on a publicly accessable car park of a defense institution/office, so the above report is wrong in suggesting he took it 'inside another base'. Although yeah, he probably could have depending on the base and the guy at the gate.

No Gripen, he will probably not get in trouble, reporters have a pretty protected status here and he rightly informed the military in advance of the airing of the program and offered them to watch it. As liberal as the Dutch are, even the military, they did not act upon this opportunity to censor or prevent it and told him they would respond after the program had been aired.

It's that nonpilot posted it, but actually, I wouldn't have posted it to discuss...
« Last Edit: October 16, 2008, 06:26:43 AM by Webmaster »
  • Interests: Su-15, Su-27, Tu-22, Tornado, RNLAF
Niels Hillebrand
MILAVIA Webmaster


AVIATION TOP 100 - click to vote for MILAVIA