Allinq replaces critical infrastructure at the Defence training ground on the Wadden island of Vlieland

It can rightly be called a tour de force: in September, a five-person team from Allinq completed a challenging job on the Wadden island of Vlieland. Within two weeks, the infrastructure of the control tower at the Defence training ground was tackled. A malfunction in one of the fighter jet targets on the mudflats was also resolved. ‘’The unique location and time pressure were a challenge, but connecting is simply our core business’’, project manager Stèfan Bouw reflects, looking back on the project with satisfaction.


At Allinq we are used to taking on complex projects. Whether it concerns the installation, maintenance and replacement of copper, fiber optic and electricity or solving problems with data, WiFi or telephone disruptions; our specialists do not hesitate. This was also the case when the Ministry of Defence provided the order to replace the critical infrastructure of the control tower at the military training ground on Vlieland. Project manager Stèfan Bouw went on a preliminary investigation to the Wadden island to map out the situation. “It is a special location. The Defence base is located on a remote part of the island. The targets on which fighter jets can practice and the control tower where we worked are located on the mudflats and are therefore not always easily accessible.”

Project leader Alain Kok adds: “The internal cabling of the tower on the training ground was outdated, no longer working optimally and had to be replaced. That was initially supposed to happen in the spring. Initially we were given a month to do this. We had arranged everything when the message came that we could not come in May, but only for two weeks in September. Because of the war in Ukraine, the training ground had to remain open.”

Defying mudflats

The schedule was changed and a team of five field engineers – each professional in their own field – spent two weeks on Vlieland to get the job done. Alain: “We used to have a month for the project, but now it has been reduced to half. The men were unable to go home on weekends and worked long days. Of course, that demands something from the team.” Everything had to be arranged on the island: hotel stays, the crossing of men and materials, permits to drive across Vlieland and special vehicles to cross the mudflats. “Day and night Defence employees were ready to take the men across the mudflats to the tower. That was done with a Unimog truck, because at high tide the water can reach the bottom step of the control tower. The excavator crane was transported over the mudflats with a shovel,” says Alain.

New infrastructure

The control tower, which is full of communication equipment, was thoroughly tackled. “Through this equipment, pilots communicate with the base and information is passed on from the targets. A fighter jet pilot cannot see for himself whether he has hit a target during an exercise. That also goes through the tower”, Stèfan explains the importance of properly functioning communication equipment. The tower was already connected to fiber optic cable, but the fibre was replaced internally. “The entire technical area, including cabling, has also been renovated, as has an old patch cabinet and the connections that run from the ground floor to the tower section with the dome. Everything is working properly again and this new infrastructure can be used for years to come.” During the inspection this spring, a malfunction report showed that one of the jet fighter targets was no longer working. Alain: “We immediately tackled that. The targets are connected to the tower with telephone cables. Fiberglass would be nicer, but that is difficult on the mudflats, because the tube keeps floating to the top. We have succeeded in solving the malfunction at the target, for which we at Allinq still has the knowledge of copper welding. The target installation is now working properly again.”

Complex projects core business

It was hard work, but the job was done. Alain: “We knew we could do it. The only question was whether it would be within the stipulated time, especially since this was two weeks, instead of the previously agreed four weeks. That is why we also sent technicians there who together master all aspects of our work. And, not unimportant in such a project, we can easily get along with one another. The client is happy that everything is back in order and that the infrastructure in the tower is completely ready for the future.” “Time pressure and location were a challenge, luckily we are used to tackling complex infrastructure projects,” adds Stèfan. “This is our core business; making, replacing or repairing connections, no matter how difficult.”


Time pressure and location were a challenge, luckily we are used to tackling complex infrastructure projects. This is our core business; making, replacing or repairing connections, no matter how difficult."

Stèfan Bouw

Vlieland team

The Vlieland team

Guido Meijer (fiberglass- & crane specialist)
Barry Blauw (data- & fiber specialist)
Joop Chaigneau (copper-, measurement (telephony)- and crane specialist)
Ronald Westerveld (allround technician, data- and electricity specialist)
Wim Olofsen (copper- and measurement (telephony) specialist)