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The Belgian army still exists on land, air and sea in Eastern Europe |  interior

The Belgian army still exists on land, air and sea in Eastern Europe | interior

The Belgian army will remain deployed in the eastern flank of NATO this year. For example, a detachment of engineer was deployed in Romania and a group of Ardennes fighters will soon move to Lithuania. The F-16s will then have to carry out a new deterrent mission in the Baltic states, according to unambiguous sources.

At the beginning of July, the government gave the green light to deploy about sixty members of the genius in Romania. Together with the French and Dutch armies, they will build more permanent infrastructure at the base at Senko for the NATO forces stationed there. Defense Secretary Ludivine Dedonder (PS) has suggested this. In total there are 64 people. Their mission began on July 8 and will end on October 30.

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Earlier, about 250 Belgian soldiers were deployed in Romania since the end of February. These were mainly infantrymen from the 1/3 Lancer battalion of the Marche-en-Famenne. They were deployed as part of the reinforcement of NATO’s eastern flank after the Russian invasion of Ukraine and were under French command. The Dutch forces spared them. The last of the Belgians returned on 15 July.

Amplified frontal presence

As planned for several months, our country is sending about 150 soldiers to Lithuanian Rukla as part of the “Enhanced Forward Presence” (eFP), or “Enhanced Forward Presence” of NATO in the Baltic States. According to informed sources, these are basically the Ardennes Hunters from Marche-en-Famenne. The frigate’s captain, Nico Cotten, who is responsible for operations within the Defense General Staff, said the army will be deployed there from August 22 to January 23, 2023.

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Minister Didonder said the Belgian F-16s are likely to be deployed again to Estonia within the year. © BELGA

F-16

On July 31, the Air Force will end the deployment of F-16 fighter jets to Amari, Estonia. From December last year to March 31, four F-16s with 66 military personnel carried out an Air Police mission (EAPM) to protect the airspace of the Baltic Sea. From April 1, the mission has evolved to discourage potential Russian aggression within the NATO Enhanced Vigilance Activities, or eVA, mission.

Minister Didonder said the Belgian F-16s would likely be deployed again to Estonia during the year, if there was a need. This remains a possibility that still requires ratification and approval by the Council of Ministers. But given the current context, there is likely to be a demand to strengthen NATO.”

Dist . City

© City of Diest

mine hunters

The Navy almost always maintains a mine seeker in NATO’s Standing Fleets (SNMCMG1) in the Baltic Sea. The M923 Narcissus will replace the M921 Lobelia and the M924 Primula, each with 44 crews.

rapid reaction forces

Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24, NATO has significantly increased its military presence in Eastern Europe. For the first time in history, the Alliance has activated its Rapid Reaction Forces, the NATO Rapid Reaction Force (NRF) and its “spearhead”: VJTF (Extremely High Readiness Combined Task Force). The Belgian shareholder in the VJTF was the Lancers Company in Romania and the Mining Company.

NATO has also deployed Patriot missile defense systems in Poland and Slovakia. The number of combat aircraft in Eastern Europe has also been increased.