The Belgian federal police’s special units on Monday inaugurated their new, state-of-the-art training centre, an EU-backed project aimed at better fighting terrorism and organised crime. The centre is open to the special units of all EU member States. Located in the federal police’s Géruzet neighbourhood in Etterbeek, it provides the special police with adaptable infrastructure that can be modified to simulate various types of environment, from apartments to suspended structures.
The project was initiated with the support of the special units of the Netherlands and Luxembourg. It is unique in Europe, although other States are acquiring similar infrastructure, according to Roland Pacolet, director of the Belgian special units. “We hope to attract units like the French GIGN for cooperation that will enable us to learn from each other,” he said.
Programmes can range from basic training to high-risk interventions such as attacks with chemical, biological, radioactive or nuclear weapons.
The Etterbeek centre is already operational but still needs to be equipped with an ultra-modern shooting range, along with infrastructure for advanced driving training and for public transport (train, bus, subway).
The special units will also continue to train, as they have done so far, “just about anywhere in Belgium, on military or abandoned sites,” Pacolet said.