Belgian Part of EUROCORPS sees new faces take over

Every 2 years, the Headquarters of EUROCORPS (EC) face a radical change for the key leadership. Also the Belgian Part of EUROCORPS has this summer seen Major-General (MG) Pierre Gerard leaving and MG Xavier Watteeuw joining the EUROCORPS. And additionally, as part of normal summer rotations, the Battalion Commander LTC Guido Laurent has been succeeded by LTC Johan Drossart.

On 29 and 30 August 2019, a Hand-Over-Take-Over (HOTO) of the Senior National Representative’s (SNR) duties was conducted between the MG Pierre Gerard and MG Xavier Watteeuw. The HOTO allowed a smooth transition between MG Gerard and MG Watteeuw as BEL SNR EC. A reception to say farewell to MG Pierre Gerard and to welcome MG Watteeuw was organized in LIZE barracks on 30 Aug. This event was the first occasion for newcomers to meet and greet publicly the remaining- and leaving personnel. In his farewell speech, MG Pierre Gerard thanked all Belgian personnel for their highly appreciated contributions and outstanding performances in international environment, especially regarding the preparation of EUROCORPS for the upcoming NRF 2020 commitment.

On 05 Sep 2019 during the EUROCORPS Change of Command ceremony former Commanding Officer LTG Jurgen Weigt relieved MG Pierre Gerard of his duty as Deputy Commander EUROCORPS and invested MG Xavier Watteeuw as the new Chief of Staff EUROCORPS.

Finally on Tuesday 11 September 2019, the BEL Part EUROCORPS passed to the last stage of the substitution. A ceremony for the Change of Battalion Command (Chef de Corps) was held at LIZE barracks. COL Didier Calmant relieved LTC Guido Laurent of his duties at EUROCORPS and invested LTC Johan Drossart as Battalion Commander of BEL Part EUROCORPS. During the ceremony, LTC Guido Laurent pinned medals of the National Order and recommended BEL Part EUROCORPS members for meritorious service in EC. During the reception, the personnel thanked LTC Guido Laurent and congratulated LTC Johan Drossart.

Farewell to all outgoing colleagues and a warm welcome to all newcomers. The substitution is complete in the Belgian community. Currently, on the road to Exercise TRIDENT JUPITER to be held from 23 Oct till 15 Nov 19 in Norway…


Author: Major Stefan Debusschere

Photos: Lionel Thenadey; Bastian Koob

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