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Belgians due in MND-SW

First published in the SFOR Informer #35, May 7, 1998

by Capt. Peter Tubaas, SFOR Informer

photo1T.JPG (9083 bytes)Livno - The last week of April representatives from the Belgian-Luxembourgian Battle Group (BELU BG) went on reconnaissance in the area where they are due to replace the Malaysian Forces in two months.

At the same time the Belgian participation in the BELUGA Theatre Transport Group will be reduced, and the Belgian efforts will be mainly concentrated in an area in Western Bosnia and Herzegovina.

"We are naturally looking forward to being deployed in Bosnia and Hercegovina. This will be a very interesting experience for everyone," says the BELU BG Commander Lt. Col. Yvon Michel.

photo 2T.JPG (10267 bytes)The majority of the BELU BG is from the Regiment of Chasseurs Ardennais (Ardenne Light Infantry) from the 7th Mechanised Brigade in Marche-en-Famenne in Belgium. The Regiment has been preparing for this specific mission since March, but has already had experience in four missions in Eastern Slavonia.

There will be two engineer platoons and one logistic company detached to the Battle Group. The contribution from Luxembourg will be one recce platoon transferred from the BELUGA Group. In addition to this there will be two CIMIC teams, which are already established, under the BELU BG command. In total the force includes 500 persons, including staff personnel who will be working in the MND-SW headquarters in Banja Luka.

The deployment of the Belgian forces will be carried out in three phases. The advance party will arrive the first week of June, preparing for the main body to arrive in the middle of the month. The latter party of the BELU BG will arrive in Theatre late in June or early July.

As the borders of the area that the Belgians are taking over are being slightly adjusted in June, the Belgians have calculated that the centre-of-gravity will move and have for that reason choose Tomislavgrad rather than Livno to be the location of their headquarters.

[Belgian soldier]