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Belgian ParaCommando’s

March 4, 2009

During the Second World War parachutist and commando units were founded in Great Britain. In 1952 the parachutist and commando units were brought together in a Para-Commando Regiment. Later an antitank company, a field artillery battery and a reconnaissance squadron were added. In November 1991 the Para-Commando Regiment became a brigade by adding new support units.

Missions

The Para-Commando Brigade operates closely with the 15th Transportation Wing of the Belgian Air Force and has a high level of operational readiness. The brigade can be put into action at very short notice and is therefore well suited to form intervention units. The Para-Commando Brigade is one of the Belgian contributions to NATO and is prepared to participate both in the Immediate and Rapid Reaction Force. From December 1992 to November 1993 the Brigade took part in UN peace support operations. Besides de defence of the Belgian territory the Brigade is also charged with the execution of operations to protect or evacuate our citizens abroad.

Training and exercises

All candidates to serve with the Brigade are volunteers. The are subjected to a thorough medical examination and follow, no matter what rank or Branch, a five month course at the Commando Training Centre of Marche-les-Dames before attending the one month parachutist course at the Parachutist Training Centre of Schaffen. At the end of this training, the candidates are fully qualified Para-Commandos. They then join their units where they carry on with their specialized and collective training. It is continuous up to brigade level and includes the different methods of brigade deployment: parachuting, assault landing, air and helicopter transportation,… This unit training is based on a three-year cycle, although some of it occurs in yearly activities, for instance specific para-commando exercises. These exercises are held in Belgium as well as abroad.