The US Army has until November 20th to redeploy its 10th Combat Aviation Brigade (10 CAB) from Europe and replace it for the 1st Air Cavalry Brigade. Last week, however, all the 10 CAB helicopters were flown from various locations across Europe through the Lucius D. Clay Kaserne in Germany (until 2012 known as Wiesbaden Army Airfield) and Eindhoven Air Base (AB) to the port of Rotterdam. There the helicopters are stored until they are taken to the USA by ship.

Between the 23rd and 30th of October Eindhoven AB was the destination of the first part of a journey back to America for the crew of about 50 US Army helicopters. The crews of the CH-47F Chinook, U(H)H-60L/M Black Hawk, AH-64D Apache landed their helicopters on Eindhoven AB to refuel. Sometimes also to stay overnight for the second stage of the journey, the next day to the port of Rotterdam. The Netherlands provided so-called Host Nation Support: NATO members assist each other in operations on each other's territory. In this case, the Netherlands performed that role for the USA.


The Netherlands offers NATO excellent logistics facilities to enable troop relocation. Eindhoven AB is ideal because being a transport base it provides the necessary speed for handling helicopters. In addition, the air base, partly due to civilian use, has ample opening hours, allowing the base to deal flexibly with possible delays in case of changing weather conditions. The refueled helicopters departed the same or the next day to the demarcated and guarded temporarily military facility in the port of Rotterdam. From there the helicopters will be transported to the USA by boat. During the coming weeks, the vehicles and other equipment from the brigade will also be transported to Rotterdam. The departure of the complete brigade is scheduled for the 20th of November 2017.

Atlantic Resolve Mission

The 10 CAB is part of the 10th Mountain Division. This division is based at Fort Drum, near New York. A spokesman for the division said about their deployment in Europe: "We spent nine months in different places in Europe, including Illesheim and Katterbach (Germany), Lielvarde (Latvia), Powidz (Poland) and Mihail Kogalniceanu Air Base (Romania). We have supported the US Army Atlantic Resolve Mission in Europe with the intention of discouraging foreign aggression and promoting peace and stability in this region. In addition, we shared and practiced our procedures with our European allies." The mission is being conducted continuously since April 2014.
As the 10 CAB retreated from Europe, the 1st Air Cavalry Brigade arrived in Zeebrugge to replace the 10 CAB. The nearly 80 helicopters from this Fort Hood, Texas, based division were flown to Chièvres AB. From there they spread to the same locations from which the 10 CAB operated this year.

This article was also published in the website of the Royal Netherlands Air Force Association ( in the news section.