800 Belgian military personnel deployed abroad, mostly in northeastern Europe

Belgium has a particularly high number of military personnel active in operations or in exercises and training abroad, Defence minister Ludivine Dedonder said at a press conference on Thursday. The majority are active in Romania and Lithuania to reinforce NATO's eastern flank. 

Some 800 Belgian soldiers are currently deployed in operations across the world. They are mainly in Romania and Lithuania, as part of NATO's Forward Land Forces (FLF), where they help reinforce the alliance's eastern flank.

They are also well-represented in the Middle East. In Egypt, they support humanitarian operations for the population in Gaza, and they are also active in the Red Sea, where they help protect ships from Houthi attacks. Belgian detachments are also deployed across Africa, including Benin and DR Congo, mainly to train local troops.

In addition to the troops on mission, some 900 soldiers are on standby to intervene in Belgium or abroad in case of a crisis. Among them are DOVO deminers, F-16 pilots guarding Benelux airspace, personnel for the rescue helicopters in Koksijde and the coastal patrol responsible for guarding Belgian waters and critical infrastructure. 

On top of that, in recent weeks and months, an average of 2,000 military personnel per day were in training in national or international contexts. 


An exercise of Belgian soldiers in Vilnius, Lithuania © BELGA PHOTO BENOIT DOPPAGNE

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