The Department of Defense did not adequately identify the risks when preparing a practical exercise for MBO students at Ossendrecht, as the Defense Security Inspectorate concluded. During the exercise in June 2019, 14 prospective military personnel were injured as a result of the bad weather attack. One of them was seriously injured when struck by lightning.
ROC Zuid-Holland’s MBO Safety and Craftsman Training Program (VeVa) was at Noord-Brabant for a three-day exercise. They were there under the guidance of five coaches.
On June 19, the group was hit by a thunderstorm. Poor weather conditions were previously noted by the Defense Meteorological Service, but were not passed on to the coaches as this was not mentioned in the instructions laid down by the exercise organization.
Inspectors wrote that the organization of the exercise paid insufficient attention to these types of disasters. For example, there was no clear medical evacuation plan and no record of how the trainers acted in bad weather, the inspector writes.
The Inspection Panel advises the defense to describe more clearly how to act in the event of misfortune. Additionally, bad weather hazards should be included in the exercise risk list.
Defense Secretary You Bielefeld and Secretary of State Barbara Visser wrote in response that they accept the inspection body’s recommendations.