The government has reduced the number of military deployed in public by one third.
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    The government has reduced the number of military deployed in public by one third.

    © Belga
    The army is struggling to attract young recruits.
    © Belga

    The government decided today (Friday) to reduce the number of military engaged within Operation “Vigilant Guardian” (“OVG”). They have reduced the military support to the federal police across Belgium from the current authorised maximum of 1,808 to 1,250.

    This emerges from corroborative sources. However the terrorist alert level has been maintained at Three on the international scale of One to Four.

    The Minister for the Interior, Jan Jambon (of the New Flemish Alliance), even mentioned a reduction, within a later phase, of the total number of military deployed within the main streets of towns and cities to 1,089 individuals.

    The Defence Minister, Steven Vandeput, confirmed a reduction in numbers during the cabinet meeting, but without mentioning precise figures.

    His office mentioned the adoption of a “dynamic” surveillance concept.

    This is more flexible than the mechanism in force since January 17th, 2015.

    The current mechanism was implemented following both the attacks on the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris and the dismantling of a jihadist cell in Verviers.

    The essential element of the new concept is mobile patrols, having “a greater element of surprise”.

    Oscar Schneider
    The Brussels Times