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US helicopters unloaded at Belgian port facilities of Zeebrugge


Some 80 US helicopters are unloaded at Zeebrugge, in Belgium, from January 29 to the end of the week. These helicopters will then make a stop in Chièvres to be refuelled and re-checked before pursuing their journey to Germany, and then to Eastern Europe.


US helicopters calling at Belgian facilities in Zeebrugge 2 Gathering of U.S. helicopters in the Belgian port of Zeebruges (Picture source : Martin Gillet)


The helicopters of the US 1st Combat Aviation Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, took off from Fort Riley (Kansas) to be ferried from the US to be unloaded in Zeebruges where they are re-assembled before taking off and heading for Chièvres air base (Belgium) where the U.S. Army Garrison Benelux takes the transit in charge. The helicopters are 20 AH-64 Apaches, 10 CH-47s Chinooks and 50 UH-60 Blackhawks. Their final destinations are located in various European countries: 13 in Latvia, 14 in Romania, 17 in Poland and 36 in Germany. These machines and the 1,900 associated personnel are replacing these of the 4th Combat Aviaton Brigade, 4th Infantry Division, baqsed at Fort Carson, Colorado.

The weather conditions in Belgium delayed the ferry flight fropm Zeebruged to Chivres

These transfers from the US to Eastern Europe began in 2016 and are part of Atlantic Resolve Operation. The purpose of such a mission is to ensure the presence of the US on the borders of Russia, alongside US allies in Europe, reminding Russia not to be too agressive in this region.


US helicopters calling at Belgian facilities in Zeebrugge 3 Mechanics reassembling a UH-60 Black Hawk at Zeebruges (Picture source : Belgian Air Force/Michael Moors)