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National Territorial Command
Nationaal Territoriaal Commando (NTC)

Part I | Part II | Part III | Operational Role


Unit Location Peace Strength War Strength
Staff and Staff Company
National Territorial Command
Gouda 56/48/26/138 (268) 113/88/219/102 (522)
North Holland Provincial Military Command/Garrison Command Amsterdam 25/100/279/215 (619) 139/308/1820/215 (2482)
South Holland Provincial Military Command/Garrison Command Den Haag 18/73/152/178 (421) 211/565/3487/178 (4441)
Utrecht Provincial Military Command/Garrison Command Utrecht 24/103/192/260 (579) 89/227/1097/252 (1665)
Zeeland Provincial Military Command/Garrison Command Middelburg 5/14/12/32 (63) 78/135/792/31 (1036)
Gelderland Provincial Military Command/Garrison Command Arnhem 63/309/473/705 (1550) 158/483/2237/668 (3546)
Overijssel Provincial Military Command/Garrison Command Deventer 21/82/144/136 (383) 98/195/1079/133 (1505)
North Brabant Provincial Military Command/Garrison Command Vught 62/284/669/649 (1664) 230/506/2408/633 (3777)
Limburg Provincial Military Command/Garrison Command Maastricht 12/47/43/115 (217) 101/230/1273/111 (1715)
Friesland Provincial Military Command/Garrison Command –   46/86/458/3 (593)
Groningen Provincial Military Command/Garrison Command –   54/95/512/20 (681)
Drenthe Provincial Military Command/Garrison Command –   63/107/512/125 (807)
Northern Regional Military Command [a] Assen 17/69/127/151 (364) –  


a. On mobilisation Northern Regional Military Command, encompassing the Friesland, Groningen and Drenthe provinces in peacetime, would become Drenthe Provincial Military Command/Garrison Command.1

Part I | Part II | Part III | Operational Role

460 Gnggp812 Tgp103 Pelvm102 Pelvm101 Pelvm304 Infbrig305 Cotrbat327 Infbevbat323 Infbevbat302 Infbrig

323 Security Infantry Battalion [a]   44/126/680/2 (852)
327 Security Infantry Battalion [b]   38/113/720/2 (873)
302 Infantry Brigade   225/673/3414/12 (4324)
304 Infantry Brigade   225/673/3414/12 (4324)
305 Commando Battalion [c]   20/53/370 (443)
101 Quadruple Antiaircraft Machinegun Platoon [d] M55 Quad 1/17/69 (87)
102 Quadruple Antiaircraft Machinegun Platoon [d] M55 Quad 1/17/69 (87)
103 Quadruple Antiaircraft Machinegun Platoon [d] M55 Quad  1/17/69 (87)
460 Engineer Combat Group   199/496/2917/8 (3620)
812 Transport Group   Gouda 19/47/322/69 (457) 255/615/3517/75 (4462)


a. On NATO Simple Alert under operational control of Commander-in-Chief Allied Forces Central Europe (CINCENT) and earmarked to secure Headquarters Allied Forces Central Europe (AFCENT),2 which had its wartime location in a hill in the Eifel.3 Filled by mobilisable personnel that had fulfilled their active-duty period in 11 Armoured Infantry Battalion up to eight and a half years prior to mobilisation.4
b. Earmarked to secure Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam.2 Filled by mobilisable personnel that had fulfilled their active-duty period in 41 Armoured Infantry Battalion up to eight and a half years prior to mobilisation.4
c. The operational role of 305 Commando Battalion was to provide military assistance, in particular in keeping open the lines of communications (LOCs); to locate, bind and neutralise enemy reconnaissance and sabotage units; and to serve as a mobile general reserve for National Territorial Commander. Missions might include direct action (DA) against enemy airborne or seaborne elements and securing, destroying or retaking vital objects. On mobilisation the battalion would be deployed in the west of the country, as the most important objects were located there; initially it would disperse over several locations to enable a quick first response. The battalion was filled by mobilisable personnel that had fulfilled their active-duty period in 104 Observation and Reconnaissance Company up to eight and a half years prior to mobilisation. The 'classic' commando role was partly covered by their training with 104 Company and partly by a four-week refresher training prior to their assignment to the battalion.4 5 
d Filled by personnel from the general pool of mobilisable reserves (vrij-indeelbaar bestand) that had fulfilled their active-duty period in relevant functions up to eight and a half years prior to mobilisation,4 after a refresher/instruction training as their had been no active-duty units of this type since 1978. These three platoons formed the entire antiaircraft capability available to National Territorial Commander. In wartime their initial mission would be to protect the west-east supply lines in the IJssel-Maas area and to counter any enemy airborne operations there. They might also be placed under command of the infantry brigades or other territorial subcommands, as needed.6   

Part I | Part II | Part III | Operational Role

StKMKPOMS MngtEOCKLCo HHONSite VrzSite TaSite Eyg301 Vzgco302 Vzgco303 VzgcoSite CvdnSite Bru402 Krtopslverstrgp

301 Service Support Command [a] Twello 12/98/2/446 (558) 7/43/6/153 (209)
302 Service Support Command [a] Breda 15/139/2/575 (731) 11/64/5/303 (383)
303 Service Support Command [a] Gouda 9/96/2/360 (467) 6/32/5/162 (205)
Refresher Training Command [b] Ossendrecht 12/28/64/22 (126)
Royal Army Explosive Ordnance Disposal Command [c] Culemborg 6/39/8/10 (63) 4/33/8/10 (55)
402 Map Storage and Distribution Group [d] De Bilt -/3/4/3 (10) -/3/6/3 (12)
POMS Management [e]
Staff Coevorden -/-/-/65 (65) ?
Site Brunssum  Brunssum ? ?
Site Coevorden Coevorden ? ?
Site Eygelshoven Eygelshoven ? ?
Site Ter Apel Ter Apel ? ?
Site Vriezenveen Vriezenveen ? ?
Royal Military Band Den Haag 3/68/24/1 (96) 3/68/24/1 (96)
National Territorial Command Peace Strength: 379/1647/2545/5465 (10036)10
National Territorial Command War Strength: 2423/6071/31184/3211 (42889)10


a. The three service support commands were responsible for control and management, including first and second echelon maintenance, of materiel stored in mobilisation complexes and other facilities. Each of the three commands operated five to six control and management regions.7
b. On average Refresher Training Command called up fifty-four companies each year, which amounted to ± eight thousand reservists. In general refresher training lasted three to four weeks for combat units and about two weeks for some of the support units. Restrictions in budget, equipment and the availability of professional cadre meant that field training, conducted up to battalion level, was often limited and dependent on improvisation. There was not enough capacity to call up every mobilisable unit every six years as was originally intended, so choices had to be made. The emphasis was on mobilisable staffs and staff companies, which often joined command post exercises (CPX) of 1 (NL) Corps formations.8
c.In the late 1980s the Royal Army Explosive Ordnance Disposal Command (EOCKL) each year disposed of some 10,000 shells, 250 missiles, 30,000 bullets, 200 bombs and five V1 rockets remaining from World War II.9 In wartime EOCKL was expected to be confronted with explosives deployed by enemy special forces teams (Spetsnaz) aiming to sabotage the Lines of Communications or to eliminate key civilian or military leaders. In the early 1980's exercises proved that EOCKL's wartime organisation was much too small for this role, but budgetary constraints meant that no substantial improvements were made.10
d. Under functional command of Commander-in-Chief Land Forces.
e. The five Pre-positioned Organizational Materiel Storage (POMS) sites on Netherlands territory contained the materiel of one and one third US Army armored division (Division Set) as part of the POMCUS concept (Preposition of Materiel Configured in Unit Sets); see NATO Commands, Northern Army Group. Peacetime management was executed by a Dutch civilian staff, which appears to have been unusual within the POMCUS concept. Dutch management and personnel at the sites were responsible for storage, maintenance and user-readiness of materiel; all in all ± fourteen hundred Dutch civilian personnel were employed. In addition there were ± twenty US Army personnel at each site, probably from US Army Combat Equipment Group Europe (CEGE) under whose administrative control the sites fell. It would appear that the sites held materiel of 1 (US) Cavalry Division and 5 (US) Infantry Division (Mechanized).11 12

Operational Role 13

National Territorial Command was charged with the preparation and execution of the following tasks:
  • Territorial security of the Netherlands. In peacetime this was restricted to Royal Army property and installations. On mobilisation National Territorial Command would mobilise two infantry brigades, three security infantry battalions, one commando battalion and forty-six security infantry companies, in addition to the one hundred and forty-three platoons of the National Reserve Corps (NATRES) that would be available at short notice to secure the mobilisation and to carry out subsequent security-related missions. National Territorial Commander retained overall responsibility but local implementation was generally delegated to the Provincial Military Commanders/Garrison Commanders who were initially responsible for mobilisation preparations, security missions, and the enlistment and training of the NATRES platoons under their command. (See Part I and II)
  • Mobilisation of the Royal Army (ordered by Commander-in-Chief Land Forces). Given the fact that nearly seventy percent of the Royal Army's wartime personnel strength was mobilisable this task was as complicated as it was vital for the Dutch contribution to NATO's Central Front. National Territorial Command handled or facilitated mobilisation-related matters such as the assignment of personnel through its intricate unit filling and reserve system; logistical support, including the maintenance and security of fifty-one mobilisation complexes, some ten other storage complexes, and the materiel therein; and refresher training courses conducted under the auspices of Refresher Training Command. (See Part III)
  • Logistical support for the Royal Army and for NATO reinforcements in the Netherlands (Host Nation Support). After France left the NATO integrated military structure in 1966 the Communications Zone of Northern Army Group (NORTHAG) had in effect been reduced to the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg, which made Host Nation Support and keeping open the Lines of Communications in these countries vital for the sustainment of the Central Front. National Territorial Command maintained five US Army Pre-positioned Organizational Materiel Storage (POMS) sites in the Netherlands. (See Part II and III)
  • Road transport and military traffic control within the Netherlands, also for NATO reinforcements (Host Nation Support). (See Part II) 
  • Coordination of civil-military activities; including preparations for and implementation of martial law insofar not exercised by Commander-in-Chief Land Forces; coordination between civil and military authorities at national, provincial and local levels; cooperation with (semi-)governmental agencies and institutions such as the National Railways (Nederlandse Spoorwegen), the national postal, telegraph, and telephone service (PTT), Rijkswaterstaat, electricity companies, et cetera; requisitioning of civilian vehicles by pre-arranged agreements; providing military assistance to civilian communities, and refugee settlement.
  • Explosive ordnance disposal. (See Part III)
  • Other administrative tasks relating to billeting, training areas and firing ranges.

National Territorial Command: subcommands and major units, 1985
EOCKLNTC412 Cotrcie/305 Cotrbat406 Cotrcie/305 Cotrbat403 Cotrcie/305 Cotrbat305 Cotrbat323 Infbevbat327 Infbevbat324 Infbevbat304 Infbrig302 Infbrig460 Gnggp812 TgpCo HHON302 Vzgco303 Vzgco301 VzgcoPOMS MngtPMC/GC LBPMC/GC UTPMC/GC OVPMC/GC GRPMC/GC NBPMC/GC DRRMC-NPMC/GC ZLDPMC/GC FRPMC/GC GLDPMC/GC ZHPMC/GC NH


1. NIMH 430, inv. nr. 54 (Slagorde KL stand 1 juli 1985), Blad K. Hoffenaar en Schoenmaker, Met de blik, 299, 301.
2. NL-HaNA 2.13.110 inv. nr. 1248, Realisatie NTC d.d. 20 januari 1975. See also De Jong en Hoffenaar, Op herhaling, 87 and Hoffenaar en Schoenmaker, op. cit., 324, 326.
3. Felius, Einde Oefening, 210. In peacetime Headquarters AFCENT was located in Brunssum. Ibid. 
4. NIMH 205A/10, Aflossing van mobilisabele eenheden en -aanvullingen d.d. 27 mei 1980. Ibid., d.d. 11 november 1983.
5. NL-HaNA 2.13.110 inv. nr. 1371 (reorganisatie 305 Commandotroepenbataljon, 1975-1976). Felius, Einde Oefening, 208. Krijger en Elands, Commandotroepen, 72, 102. Line of communications: "A route, either land, water, and/or air, which connects an operating military force with a base of operations and along which supplies and military forces move." US Department of Defense Dictionary, 253. Direct action: "Short-duration strikes and other small-scale offensive actions by special operations forces to seize, destroy, capture, recover, or inflict damage on designated personnel or materiel.Ibid., 130.
6. NL-HaNA 2.13.110, inv. nr. 1383, Opname pelsvm in slo NTC d.d. 10 januari 1978. Ibid., Memo Realisatie Legerplannen nr 76B mobstellen 101 Pelvm d.d. 13 februari 1978.
7. VS 17-146, A-6-4. Hoffenaar en Schoenmaker, op. cit., 300. Van den Heuvel et al., De beheersregio. Wattel, Materiële mobilisatievoorbereiding
8. De Jong en Hoffenaar, op. cit., 98-102, 122-125. The August/September 1986 issue if the semi-official army magazine Legerkoerier includes a refresher training calendar for 1987 with planned training periods specified per unit. 
9.Sorrell, Je maintiendrai, 47.
10.Van Woensel, Vrij van explosieven, 191-193.
11. Bremer, Nationaal Territoriaal Commandant, 16-17. Website POMS Nederland Medical. Website U.S. Army in Germany, Combat Equipment Group Europe. The US Army divisions are named in: website relikte.com, Die POMCUS-Depots in Nachbarschaft zu Niedersachsen (thanks to Jo van der Pluijm).
12. The ± 1400 civilian personnel of POMS Management have been included in the NTC peacetime strength only. The official order of battle (NIMH 430, inv. nr. 54) does not include personnel strengths for POMS Management.
13. Taken from Sorrell, op. cit., 45-47, with enhancements from NL-HaNA 2.12.56, inv. nr. 1952, VVKM 162 Oorlogsmemorandum der Koninklijke Marine 1981-1982, 3-6 and Bremer, op. cit., 14-17. See also Hoffenaar en Schoenmaker, Met de blik, 324-327. Intricate unit filling and reserve system: see Gijsbers, Blik in de smidse, 2222-2231; Selles, Personele vulling; Berghuijs, Opleiding, 14-23; in English: Isby and Kamps, Armies, 341-343; Sorrell, op. cit.94-96; Van Vuren, The Royal Netherlands Army TodayMilitary Review April 1982, 23-28. Host Nation Support: see Roozenbeek, In dienst, 200-202 and Sorrell, op. cit., 105-107.