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The Netherlands Ministry of Defense has produced a video of the Dutch Royal Marine Corps 120 mm Mortar Company firing its last six shots in a ceremony on Salisbury Plain yesterday. The unit will be eliminated under the latest round of Dutch defense cuts. After firing the last of the six shots, Brig.Gen. Rob Verkerk, commandant of the Dutch Marine Corps, expressed regret that the unit is being eliminated while understanding that his service had to share in the pain of the defense cuts.Formed in 1988, the 120 mm Mortar Company exercised regularly with the British Royal Marines as part of the UK/NL Landing Force, to which the Netherlands assigned a battery. The company fired its first shots in anger in Bosnia in 1995, together with British army artillery and French artillery and mortars on Mount Igman, against Bosnian Serbs besieging Sarajevo.Some personnel from the 120 mm Mortar Company will be transferred to the Dutch army's fire support teams of the Dutch army, which now has sole responsibility for heavy mortar and artillery support.
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