48 U.S. helicopters stopover in Belgium before flying to European bases


Forty-eight US helicopters arrived in Zeebrugge this October 15th. They will then fly to the base of Chièvres before joining their base of deployment in Europe, as part of the Atlantic Resolve mission.


48 U.S. helicopters stopover in Belgium before flying to European bases 1
AH-64E Apaches and bowsers of the Belgian 2nd Tactical Wing at Zeebrugge (Picture source: Belgian MoD)


48 Chinooks, Apaches and Black Hawks arrived from Georgia by boat at the Belgian naval base in Zeebrugge. They are part of a contingent of 80 helicopters deployed in Eastern Europe as part of the Atlantic Resolve mission.

This is the 4th time that the US military has used the services of the Defense to accommodate his equipment. Several dozen Belgian soldiers have been put to work, including the men of 2 Wing Tac. "This is a great coordination exercise with the Americans, the 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade, but also with various actors such as the federal police, firefighters, the police of navigation ..." says Commander (capitaine de frigate) Philippe de Cock. It was necessary to respond to US requests, but also to provide housing and transport on-site, to establish a secure area or to provide a protective force.


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UH-60 Black Hawks at Zeebrugge (Picture source: Belgian MoD)


 This support to the US military comes within the framework of NATO's Host Nation Support, through which Belgium has pledged to provide logistical support to Allied forces transiting through Belgian territory.

This is the fifth rotation of aviation under Atlantic Resolve. Thanks to this operation, the US military wants to strengthen its ties with its European counterparts. Brigades are replaced every nine months. 1,700 soldiers from the 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade of the 3rd Infantry Division (Fort Stewart, Georgia) will take over the 1st Combat Aviation Brigade from the 1st Infantry Division (Fort Riley, Kansas).

The U.S. helicopters are expected to leave Zeebrugge for Chièvres Air Base sometime next week, before joining their deployment base in Germany, Poland, Greece, Latvia and Romania.


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Belgian protection personnel of the 2nd Tactical Wing posted in Zeebrugge (Picture source: Belgian MoD)


 

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