In the framework of the Operation Atlantic Resolve and under NATO umbrella, the US has been gradually augmenting the air, ground and naval presence in Central and Eastern Europe. Several large exercises are being organized, generating vast movements of troops and equipment.
ICO’s project team has been able to convince the US Army about ICO’s high standard infrastructure and dedicated teams. The first successful operation in November 2017, whereby 77 helicopters were discharged from an ocean vessel to get airborne from Hanze Terminal, has led to further negotiations and the awarding of a 1 year US Army contract. The immediate results are 2 operations which will take place in May and in June 2018.
The May operation takes place at ICO’s Kallo Terminal. 3 ocean vessels will discharge almost 3000 rolling units and containers. Amongst the cargoes are 300 tanks (M1 Abrams, M109 Paladin and M2 Bradley). The cargoes will be evacuated by rail (18 trains), barge and road. The operation will take about 3 weeks starting May 21st. A highly secured Temporary Military zone of 12.5 ha, guarded by Belgian Force protection will be provided during this period. The incoming equipment will be heading to Eastern Europe for the yearly US Army led “Saber Strike” cooperative training exercise. This exercise helps facilitate cooperation amongst the U.S., Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and allied and partner nations
The June operation will happen on Hanze Terminal Zeebrugge. It is the return of the 1st Air Cavalry to the US. 80 helicopters (Apache, Chinook, Blackhawk) will fly-in, land on our terminal, be dismantled and be loaded on a RoRo-vessel. ICO will build a 10.5ha landing and staging zone which will be guarded by Belgian Special Forces. The 80 helicopters will fly-in during 2 weeks, starting on June 11th. The mission is expected to be concluded on July 12th.