Belgium sends 245 soldiers to Lithuania as part of "tactical group"
Belgium deployed 245 soldiers to Lithuania on Thursday to reinforce NATO's eastern flank for six months as part of a "tactical group" commanded by Germany. The Ministry of Defense reported this.
An Airbus A400M transport plane with 86 soldiers on board took off from the Melsbroek military airport for Lithuania at 15:00 on Thursday. According to the Defence Ministry, they will join their colleagues who have been there for several weeks, forming a division of 245 soldiers, mainly from the 12th Line Battalion Prince Leopold and the 13th Line of Spa.
Under the new name "Forward Land Forces", the mission's duration is six months.
The Belgian army has already contributed several times to the "tactical groups" deployed in the northeast of NATO territory. There are four each in Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia, as well as in Poland, and four more in the southeast: Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia.
This deployment is one of the measures taken by NATO following Russia's annexation of Crimea in 2014 and the invasion of Ukraine by Russian forces in 2022.
Since the end of June, the Belgian army has also been present in Romania with a squad of about 300 soldiers within a multinational "tactical group" led by France and stationed in Cincu, in the centre of the country. The pilot unit is the Liberation Battalion of Leopoldsburg.
© Hans Lucas