Dutch soldiers have received 1,000 euros each to buy warm clothes ahead of the upcoming NATO exercise in Norway, where two-digit subzero spells are not uncommon at this time of the year.
Despite Scandinavia commonly being associated with a harsh climate among central Europeans, the Dutch defense ministry failed to take the necessary precautions and procure warm clothes for its contingent’s participation in the Trident Juncture 18 exercise, the biggest NATO drills in years, the newspaper De Telegraaf reported.
Instead of being provided warm clothes, the Dutch soldiers will have to go shopping themselves before heading north in a month.
Dutch Defense Minister Barbara Vesser attributed this wardrobe malfunction to a dramatic lack of time. Earlier, the Dutch soldiers had participated in drills in Lithuania, where no extra warm clothes were needed. The Dutch defense failed to take into account the upcoming drills in Norway, which left the Dutch military supplier with not enough time to provide the necessary clothes.
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However, while the Dutch soldiers will have to do the shopping themselves, they won’t have to pay from their own pocket, Vesser pledged. Each soldier will receive €1,000 to cover his or her expenses.
“The soldiers must have the clothes they need. And I do not want to experience this again,” the Defense Minister said, as quoted by the newspaper…