Historical collection of the Vredepeel ground-based air defence system

The Netherlands




The Historical Collection of Ground-Based Air Defence (Historische Collectie Grondgebonden Luchtverdediging, HCGLVD) was created by merging the Historical Collection of Anti-Aircraft Artillery (Ede) and the tradition room of the Group of Guided Weapons (Groep Geleide Wapens) (De Peel Air Base). The collection provides an overview of the development history of ground-based air defence from 1915 to the present day. The collection is on display in two halls and there is also an outdoor exhibition. There is also a building with offices, a meeting room and a workshop for employees.Visitors can look around at their leisure and get additional information about the exhibits on the multimedia terminals. Guided tours are also available. What about children? They are allowed to touch and operate many pieces of the collection. The HC is 'wheelchair friendly', and a wheelchair is also available for visitors with mobility difficulties.

The Historical Collection of Ground-Based Air Defence (HCGLVD) is a fusion of the Historical Collection of Anti-Aircraft Artillery of the Royal Netherlands Army, which was formerly located in the Maurits Barracks in Ede, and the Tradition Room of the Royal Netherlands Air Force Group of Guided Weapons, which was located at De Peel Air Base. The HCGLVD was opened on 21 October 2009 and provides an overview of ground-based air defence equipment and related items from 1882 to the present.

The Historical Collection is accommodated in and around two hangars at the Luitenant Generaal Bestkazerne, the former De Peel Air Base. The barracks are located on a 534-hectare site in Peel, on the border of the provinces of Limburg and North Brabant at the village of Vredepeel, near Venray.

The defence section was built in 1954 and had one take-off runway and one parallel runway. From the outset, the base had a reserve status, also called 'dormant base'. Incidentally, the field was used by 306 Photo Reconnaissance Squadron of the Volkel Air Base.

Starting in 1973, the NATO Infrastructure Fund paid for the construction of concrete aircraft shelters and the associated infrastructure, so that the air base could be used as a safe haven for the 306 Squadron until 1985. It was decided in 1993 to station the guided weapons groups stationed in Germany at De Peel Air Base, which were no longer required there due to the end of the Cold War. This involved the 3rd and 5th Royal Air Force Guided Weapons Group, each equipped with two Patriot and two Hawk squadrons. They merged in 1994 and 1995 to form the De Peel Guided Weapons Group.

With the integration of the air defence systems of the Army and Air Force, the Royal Netherlands Army Anti-Aircraft Artillery Command was based at what was known as De Peel Air Base in 2007.

Effective 1 April 2012, the Ministry of Defence's ground-based air defence function was transferred to the Royal Netherlands Army Command (C-LAS) and integrated into the Defence Ground-Based Air Defence Command (DGLC). From that day on, De Peel Air Base became known as Luitenant Generaal Bestkazerne.

The barracks are named after Lieutenant General Petrus Wilhelmus Best (1881 - 1960), who was the Commander of the Airborne Division from 1 November 1933 - 1 April 1937 and Commander of the Air Defence in the Netherlands from 1 November 1938 - 14 May 1940.


Show the history of the Ground-Based Air Defence in the form of a timeline from its inception in 1917 to the present day.


To keep the tradition of the Anti-Aircraft Artillery Corps and the Guided Weapons Group (GGW) alive through exhibits of equipment, photographs and documentation.

To raise young people's interest in the armed forces in general, the Anti-Aircraft Artillery Corps and the Guided Weapons Group in particular. To learn to appreciate and support this young branch of the armed forces.

The HCGLVD receives many visitors each year from various groups and individuals. Events are also regularly organised by both military and civilian institutions.