U.S. and Dutch celebrate signing ceremony for Chinook Modernization

Gilze Rijen 14-12-2017

CDA Shawn Crowley and others from the Embassy’s Foreign Commercial Service and Office of Defense Cooperation attend the signing ceremony for the Chinook Helicopter CH47 Modernization at Gilze Rijen Air Base. The ceremony was attended by officials from Boeing and the Dutch Ministries of Defense, Finance, and Economic Affairs.  The ceremony celebrated the Dutch government’s decision to modernize six CH47 helicopters.

During the ceremony, CDA Crowley gave the following remarks:

Goedemorgen Admiraal De Waard, Charles Dabundo, dames en heren.  Het is voor mij een eer hier te zijn en deel te nemen aan dit bijzonder moment.  Vandaag vieren wij ons defensie partnerschap, een symbool van de historische banden tussen onze beide landen.  Daarmee zal ik  jullie verdere pogingen besparen om mijn beginners Nederlands te begrijpen, en door gaan in het Engels.

[Good morning Admiral De Waard, Charles Dabundo, ladies and gentlemen.  It is an honor for me to be here and to take part in this special moment.  Today we celebrate our defense partnership, which is a symbol of the historical ties between our two countries.  With that I will save you further attempts to understand my beginners Dutch, and will now continue in English.]

It is an honor to be here, at the home base of the Netherlands Defense Helicopter Command, to take part in this special occasion.  Today, we celebrate our defense partnership, which is a key component of the longest, peaceful, unbroken relationship the United States has with any country in the world.

Together, our nations are stronger than we will ever be apart.  As founding members of NATO, the United States and the Netherlands have helped to secure peace and security on both sides of the Atlantic for seven decades.

Our ability to sustain this shared leadership depends on close collaboration and interoperability of our forces and equipment.  For this, we rely to a great deal on programs and innovations from pioneering companies such as Boeing.  The motto of Bill Boeing was to “build something better,” and the company continues to live up to those words.

As Europe looks to strengthen its own internal defense cooperation, it is imperative that business and government on both sides of the Atlantic continue to collaborate.  New and enhanced capabilities are vital to Dutch and American leadership in maintaining peace and security in an ever-changing and uncertain world.

Today, we celebrate the latest example of such cooperation.  The Netherlands’ decision to modernize six CH-47F “Chinook” aircraft with Boeing’s assistance means that Dutch and American forces will soon be flying the same helicopters – the best available in their class.

I look forward to the signing of this direct commercial sale contract and to the day the first helicopters are delivered to our Dutch allies.

Ik kijk uit naar de ondertekening van dit contract voor onmiddelijke commerciële verkoop, en tot de dag waarop de eerste helikopters worden afgeleverd bij onze Nederlandse bondgenoten. 

[I look forward to signing this contract for immediate commercial sales, and I look forward to the day when the first helicopters are delivered to our Dutch allies.]

Thank you and congratulations.