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Belgium, Luxembourg and Netherlands sign common airspace policing final act

World Defense & Security News - Belgium
Belgium, Luxembourg and Netherlands sign common airspace policing final act
Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands yesterday signed the final act that will allow the joint air policing of all three nations’ airspace. This agreement, inked in Rotterdam by the Belgian Air Force chief of staff Frederik Vansina, his Dutch counterpart Dennis Luyt, and by the ambassador of Luxembourg in Netherlands Pierre-Louis Lorenz, will be effective on January 1st, 2017.
Belgiu Luxembourg and Netherlands sign common airspace policing final act 640 001Two Belgian Air Component F-16A's perform a split break after receiving fuel from a USAF KC-10 Extender aircraft with the 908th EARS over Afghanistan on February 27th, 2012
(Credit: USAF/SSgt. Greg Biondo)
This agreement against air threat is revolutionary”, declared the Belgian Defense Minister Steven Vandeput. “Belgium and Netherlands are setting the pace in defense cooperation in Europe. There is no other country engaging itself with others to act against this type of serious acts occurring within the borders of each country,” added Vandeput.

As of January 1st, the Dutch and Belgian F-16 fighter jets will relay every four months to ensure quick reaction alert missions from their respective air bases: Volkel and Leeuwarden for the RNLAF and Kleine Brogel and Florennes for the BAF.

Under this agreement, the Benelux airspace will form a single territory in which pilots will act under the orders and on behalf of the other country, regardless of their roundel.

Belgian fighter jets that intercept an aircraft in the Dutch airspace will then act upon command of the Dutch Defense Ministry, which will give orders through the Air Operations Control Station of Nieuw Milligen. For its part, the Belgian Ministry of Defense will have authority over Dutch fighter aircraft via the Control and Reporting Center (CRC) based in Glons.

Belgium plans to sign similar agreement with France in February 2017, on the sidelines of a NATO Defense Ministers meeting, Steven Vandeput said.