The Belgian Armed Forces have announced plans to deploy members of the Chasseurs Ardennais battalion to join the multinational NATO battalion in Estonia in 2019.
According to News.err.ee, Belgium will send to Estonia approximately 200 members of the Chasseurs Ardennais battalion equipped with infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs), SPIKE anti-tank missiles, and 120mm mortars, and complete with a combat engineer and combat support unit.
The decision taken by the Belgian Government to send troops to Estonia shows that small countries can equally contribute to NATO´s security.
‘As small nations we understand each other’s security concerns well, since our security as a whole depends on the strength of NATO,’ Estonian Minister of Defence Jüri Luik said.
The unit is to arrive in Estonia with some 100 pieces of combat equipment, including 35 IFVs and 65 support vehicles, daily Postimees reported.
The Chasseurs Ardennais are based out of Marche-en-Famenne in Wallonia, Southern Belgium. Their motto is “Resist and bite!” and their insignia features a wild boar’s head.
Asked by Postimees why it is that Belgians in particular will be coming to Tapa Army Base, Liis Mure, director of the NATO and European Union Department of the Ministry of Defence, said that the involvement of new allies in the multinational battle group is decided in cooperation between NATO, Estonia and the UK, the last of which is serving as the battle group’s leading country.
“The most important criteria is that they be able to fulfil the military tasks set by NATO, which first and foremost are deterrence and, if needed, contributing to defence,” Mure said.