The base causes a lot of disturbance, but does it bring us any benefits?
The AWACS programme involves the distribution of maintenance work among the participating nations. The Netherlands thereby receives its due portion of that work, which creates jobs in the Dutch aviation industry and other sectors. The E-3A Component currently has a workforce of about 2,900. This includes 350 personnel of Dutch nationality, about 50 of whom are military and around 300 are civilian staff members. Most of these Dutch members of the Component are from the province of Limburg. The air base is one of the largest employers in the border region. Some of the 2,900 NATO personnel rent or own houses in the Netherlands, go shopping there for all kinds of items, send their children to school there, go there for meals or overnight stays, etc. According to our annual Economic Impact Study, the Component’s overall contribution to the Dutch economy as a whole amounted to 71.8 million euros in 2011. About 20 million euros of that sum were spent in (the southern part of) the Netherlands by Component members in 2011.