Major General Traas became Commander of NATO's Deployable Air Command and Control Centre at Poggio Renatico, Italy, in January 2022.
Major General Traas was born in 1969 and started his career in 1986 in the Royal Netherlands Marines Corps. After initial training - in which he was awarded as best-man - he was deployed to Egypt (Sinaï) for a tour in the Multinational Force and Observers mission. From 1988-1990 Major General Traas served in a Dutch Company integrated in the British 45 Commando Royal Marines contributing to the defence of NATO's Northern flank.
In 1991, Major General Traas joined the Air Force and was trained as a fighter pilot flying the F-16. After being assigned to 323 Squadron, he frequently took part in air operations above the former Yugoslavia. In 2000, Major General Traas graduated as F-16 Weapons Instructor.
After one year at the Air Force Tactical Staff he became 1st Flight Commander 322 Squadron. Two years later, he served in the Air Force staff in the Policy and Plans branch. In 2006, after completing Higher Defence Staff Course, he was appointed Commander of 322 Squadron in the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. In 2007, he served in Afghanistan as Deputy Chief Regional Air Operations Coordination Centre South (Kandahar).
In 2008 Major General Traas became Deputy Commander (Operations) Leeuwarden Airbase. In 2011, after a short period as acting Commander Leeuwarden Airbase, he continued his career in the staff of Defence in the Operational Policy, Plans and Requirements Directorate. In 2012 Major General Traas earned his Master's Degree in Political Science (Leiden University). Later that year he became Commander of the Air Task Force (F-16) in Afghanistan (Mazar-e-Sharif).
In 2013, he was appointed Head Air Operations branch of the Plans Directorate as Colonel. He was closely involved in the replacement of the F-16 and national project manager of international projects such as BENELUX Combined Air Defence (Quick Reaction Alert) and procurement of the Multi-Role Tanker Transport Aircraft.
In 2015, Major General Traas took command of Leeuwarden Air Base. Besides the unit's combat readiness, he was also responsible for the F-16 Weapon Instructors Course and the large-scale international exercise Frisian Flag. Furthermore, he was tasked with preparing Leeuwarden Air Base for the introduction of the F-35 and unmanned aerial systems. Through 2016/2017, he also completed the Top Defence Staff Course.
Promoted to Air Commodore in mid-2017, he served as Director of Weapon Systems & Logistic Agencies in the Defence Materiel Organiszation. His main responsibilities were contributing to weapon systems management (acquisition and sustainment) and supervision of logistic agencies in the fields of munitions, fuel and POL, clothing and personal equipment.
From mid-2019 to the end of 2021, Major General Traas has been Director Operations of the Royal Netherlands Air Force.
(Current as of February 2022)