Due to the ongoing situation in Afghanistan, the Belgian government approved evacuation operations from Kabul International Airport by multiple Belgian defence air assets.
A total of four transport aircraft from the Belgian Air Force have been sent to the capital of Afghanistan. The first aircraft to depart Melsbroek Air Base was a Dassault Falcon 7X. Aboard the Falcon 7X, was crew that will prepare the arrival of the other resources. Following the Falcon 7X, was an Airbus A400M Atlas and two Lockheed C-130H Hercules tactical transport aircraft. All these aircraft come from the 15th Transport Wing based at Melsbroek.
This decision was authorised by the Belgian government to send the four aircraft due to an estimated 100 people with Belgian nationality have registered to return to Belgium from the Belgian Embassy in Pakistan, which is also responsible for Afghanistan.
As well as the four aircraft, a non-combatant evacuation (NEO) operation detachment was also authorised activation to support the evacuation. Air and land assets are permanently available for such NEO operations, with training exercises constantly performed so the Belgian defence can carry out such operations when the Government asks.
The same day that the four aircraft deployed (August 16), the Belgian minister of defence, Ludivine Dedonder said: "The operation is controlled by the Federal Public Service (FPS) Foreign Affairs, in cooperation with the Secretary of State for Asylum and Migration. The staff is currently working out the details of the operation's execution, such as the precise resources deployed and the timetable."