Commander of the Royal Netherlands Navy
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|Commander of Royal Netherlands Navy
|Royal Netherlands Navy|
|Reports to||Chief of the Netherlands Defence Staff|
|Precursor||Commander of the Naval Force in The Netherlands|
|Formation||5 September 2005|
|First holder||Jan-Willem Kelder|
The Commander of the Royal Netherlands Navy (CZsk) (Dutch: Commandant Zeestrijdkrachten) is the highest-ranking officer of the Royal Netherlands Navy. The CZsk reports directly to the Chief of the Netherlands Defence Staff.
The position of CZsk was created on 5 September 2005, following a large overhaul of the command structure of the Dutch armed forces. In this overhaul the position of Bevelhebber der Zeestrijdkrachten was dropped and the position of Commander of the Naval Force in The Netherlands was upgraded to the current CZsk position. Ever since the integration of the Royal Netherlands Marine Corps into the Navy, the former Commander of the Marine Corps has held the position of Deputy Commander of the Royal Netherlands Navy.
In addition to being the commanding officer of the Dutch Navy, under the terms of the BENESAM Treaty the CZsk is also the Admiral of the Benelux (the commanding officer of the integrated command of the Dutch and Belgian fleets). This means the CZsk is the commanding officer of the operational units of the Royal Netherlands Navy and the Belgian Naval Component. Also, the CZsk shares command responsibility with the Chief of the Netherlands Defence Staff for units that have been deployed on international missions (under the colors of the United Nations).
The position of CZsk is statutorily held by a Vice Admiral or Lieutenant General of the Marines (NATO OF-8). The current CZsk is Vice-admiraal Rob Kramer, who succeeded Lieutenant general Rob Verkerk in the position in September 2017.
The Commander of the Royal Dutch Navy is Director of four Directorates:
- Directorate Planning & Control
- Directorate Operational Support
- Directorate of Operations
- Directorate of the Caribbean
- Vice Admiral Jan-Willem Kelder (5 September 2005 – 31 August 2007)
- Lieutenant General of the Marines Rob Zuiderwijk (31 August 2007 – 22 January 2010)
- Vice Admiral Matthieu Borsboom (22 January 2010 – 26 September 2014)
- Lieutenant General of the Marines Rob Verkerk (26 September 2014 – 22 September 2017)
- Vice Admiral Rob Kramer (22 September 2017-present)
- Major General of the Marines Rob Zuiderwijk (5 September 2005 – 27 August 2007)
- Rear Admiral Wim Nagtegaal (27 August 2007 – 13 January 2010)
- Major General of the Marines Ton van Ede (13 January 2010 – 9 April 2012)
- Major General of the Marines Rob Verkerk (9 April 2012 – 26 September 2014)
- Rear Admiral Ben Bekkering (26 September 2014 – 27 May 2016)
- Rear Admiral Rob Kramer (27 May 2016-11 September 2017)
- Major General of the marines Frank van Sprang (11 September 2017-present)