Belgian Special Operations Regiment (SOR) dispatched to repatriate 150 bring back 1,400

28/08/2021, 10:39
Des para-commandos belges avec un c-130 de la composante air
© Défense (Orban)

During Non-combatant evacuation operation (NEO) Red Kite that lasted one week over 1,400 were brought out of the Afghan capital and taken to safety in the Pakistani capital Islamabad.

For our lads this was no routine job and reportedly no scenarios existed for this kind of work: “You can’t train for this kind of mission because we are talking about real people” one soldier told VRT.

The para-commando’s of the Special Operations Regiment (SOR) of the Belgian Army return home satisfied, mission accomplished: “The day we left no refugees were waiting in the zone we were taking care of. There were people outside the perimeter but we were not allowed outside the airport. We’re talking about a small number. That’s reassuring” said another soldier.

The Belgian government has decided to retain 100 staff in Islamabad including ground troops and the command and support troops they require as well as medical staff and two C130 Hercules aircraft.

“People still need to be repatriated” says defence chief Hofman. “We want to be ready. It would be a shame if we did not possess the means if we get the opportunity to bring these people back.”

“Though we have left Kabul, we remain at the ready to intervene from Islamabad and support Belgian nationals and their dependants when conditions permit.”