Director of the Netherlands Coastguard Nicole Kuipers

Nicole Kuipers was born in Delft, the Netherlands, in 1971. She started her naval officer training at the Royal Naval College in Den Helder in 1989 and has fulfilled various postings at sea with the Royal Netherlands Navy (RNLN). She has been the Director of the Netherlands Coastguard since 21 April 2022.

Director of the Netherlands Coastguard Nicole Kuipers

Operation Sharp Guard

After being commissioned as an officer in 1992, during her practical operational introduction she served as an officer of the watch on board HNLMS Van Kinsbergen. The vessel was deployed to the UN’s Operation Sharp Guard off the coast of the former Yugoslavia. She subsequently followed a final year in technical business management at Eindhoven University of Technology and then completed officer training at the Naval College. This was followed by various positions on board navy vessels. She took part in various missions, including NATO’s Operation Allied Harbour and Operation Active Endeavour.

Staff Officer

She was subsequently posted as staff officer to the NATO headquarters in Naples (Italy) and she was involved in directing NATO’s Operation Active Endeavour. Upon her return to the Netherlands, she was posted as a staff officer to NLMARFOR, the deployable, operational staff of the RNLN. After completing the Advanced Defence Studies course, she once again held various positions on board navy vessels and then with the Defence Staff in The Hague.

Commander of navy vessels

From 2017 to 2020, Nicole Kuipers was the commander of both HNLMS Friesland and HNLMS Groningen. During her tenure as commander, these two RNLN patrol vessels alternately acted as the RNLN guard ship in the Caribbean, with some success. In total, over 7,000 kilos of cocaine spread out over several drug transports were intercepted during this period. This was done in close cooperation with the Dutch Caribbean Coastguard. She subsequently held the position of project coordinator of the new RNLN headquarters.

Nicole Kuipers lives in Schagen, in the province of North Holland. In her free time she enjoys travelling, and she regularly goes out on her racing bike and plays golf at the golf course.


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