Belgian Army


Belgian Army
Belgian Army
Armée belge / Belgisch leger
belgische Armee
Coats of arms of Belgium Military Forces.svg
Coats of arms of Belgium Military Forces
Founded 1830
Service branches Land Component
Air Component
Naval Component
Medical Component
Leadership
Commander-in-Chief King Albert II
Minister of Defence Pieter De Crem (CD&V)
Chief of Defence General Charles-Henri Delcour
Manpower
Military age 18 years of age (2005)
Available for
military service
2,436,736 males, age 18–49 (2005 est.),
2,369,463 females, age 18–49 (2005 est.)
Fit for
military service
1,998,003 males, age 18–49 (2005 est.),
1,940,918 females, age 18–49 (2005 est.)
Reaching military
age annually
64,263 males (2005 est.),
61,402 females (2005 est.)
Active personnel 47,000 (ranked 76th)
Reserve personnel 100,500
Expenditures
Budget 3.0 billion (FY09)[1]
Percent of GDP 1.2% (FY09)
Related articles
Ranks Belgian military ranks

The Belgian Army is the national military of Belgium. Since 2002, by a Royal Order issued by Albert II of Belgium the three independent armed forces were merged into one unified structure and organised with four components which consists of about 47,000 active troops. They are structured as follow:

  1. Land Component, previously known as the Land Force (Force terrestre / Landmacht / Heer);
  2. Air Component, previously known as the Air Force (Force aeriénne / Luchtmacht / Luftmacht);
  3. Marine Component, previously known as the Naval Force (Force navale / Zeemacht / Seemacht),
  4. Medical Component, previously known as the Medical Service (Service médical / Medische dienst / Sanitätsdienst).

The budget of €3.4 billion is divided amongst the four components as follows [2]:

  • 63% is spent on salaries
  • 25% is spent on equipment maintenance
  • 12% is spent on new investments

The operational commands of the components (COMOPSLAND, COMOPSAIR, COMOPSNAV and COMOPSMED) are subordinate to the Staff Department for Operations and Training of the Ministry of Defence, which is headed by the Assistant Chief of Staff Operations and Training (ACOS Ops & Trg), and to the Chief of Defence (CHOD).

The harsh lessons of World War II made collective security a priority for Belgian foreign policy. In March 1948 Belgium signed the Treaty of Brussels, and then joined NATO in 1948. However the integration of the armed forces into NATO did not begin until after the Korean War. Defence expenditure grew along with the force size. As a safeguard against Belgium being invaded again, two major bases, Kitona and Kamina, were established in the Belgian Congo. They were almost viewed as a 'national redoubt,' permitting the survival and rebuilding of forces if Belgium was again invaded.[3]

Contents

Ranks

The Belgian Land, Air, and Medical Components all use the same military ranks. The Naval Component's ranks are unique in the Belgian Armed Forces.

Service Branches

Land Component

Belgian soldiers during an exercise

The Belgian Land Component is the Ground Arm of the Belgian Armed Forces. It currently has 24,361 soldiers and 10,000 civilian staff. Its equipment consists of:

Weapons:

Vehicles:

Air Component

An F-16 jet of the Belgian Air Component

The Belgian Air Component is the Air Force of Belgium. It currently has 8,600 personnel. Its current aircraft are:

Fighter Aircraft:

Trainer Aircraft:

Helicopters:

Transport Aircraft:

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles:

Marine Component

A Frigate of the Belgian Navy

The Belgian Navy is the naval arm of the Belgian military. It currently has 1,600 personnel and 20 vessels. Its current vessels are:

Frigates:

Minesweepers:

Support Vessels:

  • A960 Godetia
  • A950 Valcke
  • A962 Belgica
  • A963 Stern
  • A996 Albatros
  • A997 Spin

Patrol Boats:

  • P902 Liberation

Auxiliary Vessels:

  • A958 Zenobe Gramme
  • A995 Spich
  • A998 Werl
  • A983 Quatuor
  • A999 Barbara

Restructuring

Belgium, which is a member of the NATO and the EU, is currently restructuring its army to be able to faster respond to humanitarian crises or disasters occurring in the world (peacekeeping). In order to do so, the Belgian Army is currently phasing out all tracked vehicles in favour of wheeled vehicles. Examples are the new MOWAG Piranha and Dingo 2 vehicles currently bought to replace vehicles such as the Leopard 1A5BE. In addition, the air component is buying new aircraft such as the Airbus A400M, NHI NH90 to accompany other aircraft for humanitarian missions such as the Agusta 109 and Alouette 2/3 helicopters. The transition will be complete by 2015. Due to Belgium's often-complicated politics, restructuring has led to decisions seen by some as illogical, such as the decision to mount the (very uncommon) CMI 90 mm cannon on the Piranha 3 (munition is very scarce and only made by a handful of manufacturers; it will probably be supplied by Mécar).[4][5] Finally, other controversies have arisen around the relocation of Belgium’s ‘cavalry school´.

See also

References

  1. ^ Defence Expenditures of NATO Countries (1985-2009)
  2. ^ Het Nieuwsblad; saturday 19, sunday 20 and monday 21 july 2008
  3. ^ David Isby and Charles Kamps Jr, 'Armies of NATO's Central Front,' Jane's Publishing Company, 1985, p.59
  4. ^ Belgian Army Restructuring controversies
  5. ^ 90mm cannons very uncommon within armies of the developed world

 This article incorporates public domain material from the CIA World Factbook document "2005 edition".

External links


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Belgian Army 1940 — The Belgian Army 1940 was organized as follows:The King of Belgium was the commander in chiefThere were 100,000 active duty personnel with army strength reaching 550,000 when mobilized.There were five corps:InfantryThree Active Army Corps… …   Wikipedia

  • Belgian Army order of battle (1914) — This is the Belgian Army order of battle on the outbreak of war in August 1914.A major reorganisation of the Army had been authorised by the government in 1912, providing for a total army of 350,000 men 150,000 in the field forces, 130,000 in… …   Wikipedia

  • Order of battle of armour units of the Belgian Army in May 1940 — See also: Belgium armoured fighting vehicles of World War II This is the order of battle for the Belgian Army armoured units in May 1940 Unit T 13 T 15 ACG 1 1e Division d Infanterie 12 0 0 2e Division d Infanterie 12 0 0 3e Division d Infanterie …   Wikipedia

  • Belgian Resistance — during World War II to the occupation of Belgium by Nazi Germany took on many different forms. The Belgian Resistance , in a narrower sense, was the common name for the Netwerk van de weerstand Réseau de Résistance or Resistance Network (RR), a… …   Wikipedia

  • Belgian Land Component — Land Component Composante terre / Landcomponent Landkomponente A detachment of the 2nd/4th Regiment Mounted Rifles …   Wikipedia

  • Belgian Air Component — Infobox Military Unit unit name=Air Component of the Belgian Armed Forces caption=One of the F 16 Fighting Falcons of the Belgian Air Component dates=1909 1915: Company of Aviators 1915 1940: Military Aviation 1940 1946: Belgian Section, RAF 1946 …   Wikipedia

  • Belgian armoured fighting vehicles of World War II — The Belgian Army had approximately 200 armoured fighting vehicles at the time of the German invasion in May 1940. They were assigned in penny packets to various infantry and cavalry divisions for use as support weapons. The Belgian army looked… …   Wikipedia

  • Belgian Navy — This article is about the Belgian Marine Component, which between 1831 and 1865 was known as the Royal Navy. For other Royal Navies, see Royal Navy (disambiguation). Marine Component of the Belgian Army Active 1831 1865: Royal Navy 1917 1927:… …   Wikipedia

  • Belgian Gendarmerie — The Belgian Gendarmerie (Lang fr|Gendarmerie belge and Lang nl|Rijkswacht) was a paramilitary gendarmerie type police force of Belgium until January 1, 2001, when it was, together with the other police forces in Belgium, abolished and replaced by …   Wikipedia

  • Army of Me (canción) — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda «Army of Me» Sencillo de Björk. del álbum Post Lado B « Cover Me You ve Been Flirting Again Sweet Intuition » Publicación …   Wikipedia Español


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.