Belgium and The Netherlands to propose a Composite Special Operations Maritime Task Group by 2026


Belgium and The Netherlands will propose a Composite Special Operations Maritime Task Group for 2026, Marie-Madeleine Courtial reports on Defensebelgium.com.
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The Belgian Special Forces Group comprises the Blue Squadron which is the link between the Special Operations Boat Unit (SOBU) and the diving team (Picture source: Belgian SF Group)


2020 has been an important year as the NATO Special Operations Command (C-SOCC) – comprising Belgium, The Netherlands and Denmark – has been declared fully operational. In 2021, it is part of the NATO Response Force (NRF). "During the stand-by period of the NRF in 2021, multiple exercises and workshops will be organized to support the C-SOCC of the NRF-2023 and to integrate the concepts", explained Belgian Defense Minister Ludivine Dedonder last week. During this year, Belgium also provides a Special Operations Land Task Group capable of operating on land and also participates in a Composite Special Operations Air Task Group.

But as part of the development of NATO's special operations capacity, Minister Ludivine Dedonder also told members of the Belgian Parliament in Defense Commission that Belgium and the Netherlands will propose a Composite Special Operations Maritime Task Group by 2026. “Priority projects such as that the binational Composite Special Operations Maritime Task Group, within the framework of which joint training sessions will be organized in the course of 2021, have already been handled by the Benelux Substeering Group SOF ”, she specified. BSG SOF was established in March 2020 to strengthen cooperation between Belgian and Dutch special forces and thereby support C-SOCC.

In the field of maritime special operations, the Netherlands relies on the Korps Mariniers and the MARSOF (Netherlands Maritime Special Operations Forces). As for the Belgian Special Forces Group, it comprises the Blue Squadron which is the link between the Special Operations Boat Unit (SOBU) and the diving team. In March 2019, the Belgian Land Component signed a memorandum of understanding with the Dutch Navy for the development of its amphibious capability, in particular within the Special Operations Regiment.

The Composite Special Operations Component Command comprises six working groups, one for the land domain (SOLTG) and another for the maritime domain (SOMTG), as well as a special air group (SOATG).


 

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