Wednesday, 30 March 2011
Belgians Deploy in Libya
Belgian aircraft yesterday launched a strike in Libya. The Army is expected to come out in sympathy, as are Belgian post office workers, who will take industrial action for three days each side of the Easter holidays.
Two Belgian F-16s, borrowed from the Royal Netherlands Air Force and piloted by Germans, are known to be in-theatre.
Belgian politicians with stakes in the nation's arms trade have approved the supply of arms to the value of €20 billion for the NATO operation, although there are no plans to actually deliver them. The bill has already been sent to Washington, and there is a proviso for any unused weapons to be supplied to the Congo at preferential rates.
Senior Head of the Army, General Jaqueline de Smedt, aged 23, told journalists from her hotel room in Paris, "We have plans to deploy 200 Group 4 security guards on the outskirts of Tripoli, but it is highly unlikely that this will actually happen. We will also be sending a detachment of Special Forces just as soon as we assess exactly what their special needs are".
The Belgian navy has agreed to deploy a submarine, U-251, in Libyan waters. This is expected to arrive in Honolulu in September after training exercises off the coast of Atlantis are completed.
Several Belgian Prime Ministers were unavailable for comment, or indeed for anything else.