J.J. (Jan) Wijchers

Royal Netherlands Navy

Commander Wijchers took over as the Commander of SNMCMG1 on 14 January, 2021. Before this appointment, he served as the Commander of the Netherlands Naval Mine Countermeasures Task Group.

Jan Wijchers was born in Schermerhorn, the Netherlands, in 1965. His military education began in 1986 at the Royal Naval Academy in Den Helder.

His military career started in 1989 as a watch-keeper on a mine countermeasures vessel. He stayed in this specialisation for seven years covering several functions. During this period he attended the Technical University in Delft for one year, to finish his military education.

In 1997 he became the principal warfare officer with the specialisation of anti-submarine warfare. In 1999 he joined the Dutch frigate, Bloys van Treslong, sailing in a NATO group and deploying to Kosovo.

Between 2002-2004 he commanded HNLMS Maassluis, a mine countermeasures vessel of the tripartite class. After his command, he and his family moved to the United Kingdom where he worked at HMS Collingwood, the headquarters of the Maritime Warfare School and Royal Navy's largest training establishment. He trained several Principal Warfare Officer courses and Command Teams of frigates.

From 2007-2010 and 2013-2015 he was a part of the Maritime Battle Staff, where he was introduced to amphibious warfare and did the work-up for the NATO Response Force Amphibious Task Group. During this period he served three terms in Operation Atalanta, in the forward headquarters around Somalia and two terms in the EU operational headquarters in Northwood, UK.

Between 2010-2013 he was the planning officer for maritime missions at the Dutch Naval Headquarters, where he went back in 2015-2018 as the Head of Exercise Planning and Training department.

In August 2018 he took the command of the Netherlands Naval Mine Countermeasures Task Group, CTG 428.15 and is the main mine countermeasures advisor to the Commander of Netherlands Maritime Force. In this job he is also the Chief of Staff of the mine countermeasures service.

Jan Wijchers lives with his wife in Den Helder and has three children, two daughters and a son.

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