US Army arrives in Belgium
About 2,000 soldiers of the U.S. Army’s 1st Cavalry Brigade brought 77 helicopters at the Chièvres Air Base in Belgium after a journey across the Atlantic. This impressive transport is part of Operation Atlantic Resolve, the Unites States’ commitment to deterring agression in Eastern Europe. The helicopters, which arrived at the port of Zeebrugge in Belgium, will begin a nine-month rotation providing close-air support for American military units stationed in Europe. Ship offload from the vehicle carrier Endurance began Thursday 19 October with the first helicopters leaving the port, en route to Chievres Air Base, Belgium on 20 October. Sixty hours after the arrival at Zeebrugge the transfer of the helicopters to the Chièvres Air Base was finished.
This was the first time the port of Zeebrugge in Belgium was chosen by the US Army. Based in Fort Hood, Texas, the soldiers brought 12 CH-47 Chinook transport helicopters, 38 UH-60 Black Hawks, 15 HH-60 Black Hawks for medevacs and 24 AH-64 Apache attack helicopters to Europe. Twelve of these military helicopters arrived in Germany by military aircraft. At the Chièvres Air Base, the helicopters underwent a final technical check. There was also an official meeting between senior officers of the 1st Air Cavalry Brigade and Kay Bailey Hutchison, US Ambassador to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Most of the U.S. Army soldiers and helicopters will be based in Illesheim, Germany, and smaller detachments will go to Latvia (Lielvarde Air Base), Poland (Powidz Air Base) and Romania (Mihail Kogainiceanu Air Base).
Text & photos: Kris Christiaens
Location: Chièvres Air Base, Belgium
More info: US Army