“The deployment of ready, combat-credible U.S. forces to Europe in support of Atlantic Resolve is evidence of the strong and unremitting U.S. commitment to NATO and Europe. Through bilateral, joint and multinational training, Atlantic Resolve builds readiness, increases interoperability and enhances the bond between ally and partner militaries,” Fact Sheet Atlantic Resolve Aviation Rotation, 1st Combat Aviation Brigade, 1st Infantry Division.
On 30 January, many members of the press were invited to Port of Zeebrugge to witness and report on this impressive rotation, the area is handled by Belgian port handler ICO. We could observe the configuration and the movement of aircraft followed by a Q&A with senior U.S. and Belgian military officials, namely Colonel Tiedeman from the U.S. Army and Philippe De Cock – Military Commander Belgian West-Flanders Province.
Team Work was underway, despite shivering cold, to resume aircraft service and dispatch them to Chièvres (EBCV) Air Force Base. The military base east southeast of the Walloon town of Chièvres is a United States Air Force operated airfield in the province of Hainaut, Belgium and about 12 mi (19 km) from Headquarters, Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE), in Casteau. It is mainly used to provide logistic support to NATO and SHAPE. The station and support facilities are operated by the United States Army Garrison Benelux for NATO.
During the walk through, we were able to see up-close the teamwork of skilled individuals, reassembling helicopter parts and making first onsite tests once operational.
“Due to adverse weather, aircraft are expected to be headed to Chiévres within 3-4 days,” officials said. (Note: on 30 January, Belgium experienced another snow episode)
Once in Chièvres, aircraft will be deployed to their final destinations such as Germany, Romania, Latvia en Poland.
Pictures © Martin Gillet – additional pictures (Flickr)
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- Atlantic Resolve Aviation Rotation
- 1st Combat Aviation Brigade, 1st Infantry Division (Demon Brigade)
- 21st Theater Sustainment Command
- Militair Commando Provincie West-Vlaanderen