Jakarta. Vice Adm. Matthieu Borsboom, commander of the Royal Netherlands Navy, awarded the Prins Hendrik Medal of Honor to the Indonesian Navy on Monday in appreciation of the longstanding cooperation between the two navies.
The Royal Netherlands Navy has close ties with its Indonesian counterpart, or at least since more than three centuries of Dutch colonial occupation were brought to an end after World War II.
Since then many Indonesian naval officers have received their initial training at the Royal Netherlands Naval College.
In addition, since the 1970s, a large number of former Netherlands navy vessels, but also newly built vessels (corvettes), were sold to Indonesia.
These sales programs always involve intensive assistance from the Dutch navy.
Several Indonesian officers currently receive training at the Belgian Netherlands Operations School at Den Helder in the Netherlands.
In the informal language of the Dutch navy many Indonesian words are still used.
On Wednesdays every week there is an Indonesian-style dinner on the menu on Dutch navy ships worldwide.
Adm. Borsboom is in Indonesia this week to further strengthen the ties between the two navies.
Together with his Indonesian counterpart Adm. Marsetio he is expected to lay a wreath at the Kembang Kuning Cemetery in Surabaya in commemoration of the Battle of the Java Sea.
Over 900 men lost their lives on Dutch navy ships in this battle against invading Japanese forces in 1942, including squadron commander Rear Adm. Karel Doorman.
The Prins Hendrik medal of honor is awarded annually to a person or institution that has been extremely meritorious for the Royal Netherlands Navy. The Jakarta Globe