From November 26 to December 10, around 50 Belgian soldiers are participating in the Steadfast Jupiter Jackal 2020 exercise, which takes place in Denmark. This NATO exercise constitutes the final test for the certification of the NATO Response Force (NRF) 2021. The 120 soldiers from three nations (Denmark, the Netherlands, Belgium) will fly to the Oxbøl region. They have been training intensely since 2018.
This is the first time that Belgium contributes to the NRF with a Composite Special Operations Component level staff capable of planning and directing special operations on land, at sea and in the air. Another first, this staff will be generated from three constituent nations that are Belgium, Denmark and the Netherlands, which will give it a truly multinational base. This brings Belgium into a fairly small circle of nations that are able to offer this very specific capability to NATO.
In parallel to this headquarters, Belgium will also contribute to the NRF21 with special forces on the ground, namely a Special Operations Land Task Group (capable of operating on land and at sea) and will strengthen a Composite Special Operations Air Task Group which is the key element for the planning and conduct of special operations in the air sector.
To ensure the safety of personnel, participating servicemen all conduct 14-day isolation prior to the exercise, as well as post-exercise quarantine upon return from Denmark (also two weeks). All health precautions have been taken to allow staff to train in the best conditions.