Around 200 U.S. army officials are currently stationed in a Belgian airbase southwest of Brussels, as part of a mission aiming to bolster NATO’s presence in Eastern Europe.
Along with over a dozen helicopters, the military officials landed in Zeebrugge and are staying in the U.S. airbase of Chièvres, located between Mons and Ath.
Their pitstop in Belgium is part of a mission with the U.S.-led western military alliance which seeks to dissuade Russia from attacking an allied country, according to the Belga news agency.
48 🇺🇸 Chinooks, Apaches & Black Hawks arrived from 🇬🇪 by boat at the 🇧🇪 Naval Base #Zeebrugge. They are part of a contingent of 80 helicopters deployed in Eastern Europe as part of the #AtlanticResolve mission @USArmyEurope @3rd_Infantry @3rdCAB Strengthening 🇺🇸 🇧🇪 ties pic.twitter.com/6aG5PWcSau
— Belgian Defence (@BelgiumDefence) October 20, 2019
The officers, belonging to an infantry of the Third Combat Aviation Brigade, had been stationed in Afghanistan for a nine-month mission, a military colonel told reporters.
A total of 37 military helicopters were deployed into the Belgian airbase as well, including combat and medical transport choppers, part of a larger contingent of the ongoing Atlantic Resolve mission, which aims to underscore U.S. engagement with NATO and Europe.
Depending on weather conditions, the troops are expected to fly them into Germany on Friday at the latest.
The Brussels Times