Text: Serge Van Heertum - Translation: Marc Arys
Pictures: Serge Van Heertum, Serge van Oosterzee & Philip Verhasselt
© sbap 2018
   

The head of states and government from the 29 country members of the NATO participated to the 28th top summit in NATO history held on Wednesday 11 and Thursday 12 july 2018. The summit was quite tense due to the requirements of the American president Donald Trump asking the allied partners to contribute, on short terms, up to 2% of their interior national product (INP) on Defence. The American president even raised this number up to 4% of the INP, which, regarding to him, corresponds much better to the investment the USA does in NATO.
In 2014, the allied countries engaged themselves to assign 2% of their INP to Defence with the deadline set in 2024. But in 2018 about fifteen members, including Germany, Canada, Italy, Belgium and Spain are still under the 1,4% and will probably not be able to respect their engagement.
As the President of the USA even threatened to withdraw the US from the alliance, an urgent meeting was called by the Secretary general of the NATO, Jens Stoltenberg, to readjust the subject, a little, giving as such a bit of satisfaction to the American delegation and bringing the other members of the alliance closer together.
Within the frame of the American initiative, called "4 x 30", the NATO members engaged themselves to be able by 2030 to deliver within 30 days, 30 mechanized battalions, 30 fighter squadrons and 30 warships to cope with an eventual military operation from Russia, identified as a potential aggressor. We can conclude that the western world is once again facing a Cold War, bringing us back to the '50's and '60's. Dixit the Secretary General of the NATO, the alliance has increased the preparation of its forces on the Eastern flank and is capable of taking the necessary decisions to bring in, rapidly, close support should tension arise. "All this contributes to render our dissuasion believable" concluded Jens Stoltenberg.

 
 The alliance heads of state (Courtesy NATO media)
Press conference from NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg
(Courtesy NATO media)
Signing of the Joint Declaration on NATO-EU Cooperation
Donald Tusk (President of the European Council)
Jens Stoltenberg (NATO Secretary General)
Jean-Claude Junckers (President of the European Commission)
(Courtesy NATO media)
 
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Bulgaria 
Canada 
Croatia 
Czech Republic
Denmark 
Estonia 
France 
Germany 
Greece 
Hungary 
Iceland 
Italy 
Latvia 
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Lithuania 
Luxembourg 
Montenegro
Netherlands 
Norway 
Poland 
Portugal 
Romania 
Slovakia 
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Spain 
Turkey 
United Kingdom 
United States 
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 United States Air Force Boeing E-4B Advanced Airborne Command Post
(Serge Van Heertum©)
United States Air Force Boeing VC-32A
(Serge Van Heertum©)
Canadian Armed Forces Airbus CC-150 Polaris (A310-304)
(Philip Verhasselt©)
United States Air Force Boeing VC-25A (747-2G4B) “Air Force One”
(Philip Verhasselt©)
  Hungarian Air Force Airbus A319-112
(Philip Verhasselt©)
  
 

The 2018 Summit was officially opened on Wednesday 11 July at 14:00 hours by a military ceremony held at the New Nato Headquarters (NNHQ) in Brussels and an aerial fly-by of 25 helicopters from 13 member countries at 14:05 local time. The 5 formation were all led by an Agusta A109 from the Belgian Air Force flying overhead the NNHQ at the sound of the NATO anthem, while the representatives of the 29 countries paid their respect to the flags.
The Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg, also payed a tribute to all the men and women of the armed forces, who are putting their lives at stake to ensure our safety. Some even lost their lives in doing so, he added…
Opening the formal cession of the Council of the North Atlantic Alliance, the Belgian Prime Minister, Charles Michel, insisted on the necessary solidarity between every allied countries of the alliance. "Safety has no price, but well a cost and we all have to take up our responsibilities further more. There are some divergences between the allies, but our coalition has always be able to surpass them" he said.

 
 
Griffon 401 
 
 Belgian Air Force Agusta A109BA (H26) 17th Squadron "Griffon 401 leader"
(Serge Van Heertum©)
British Army Westland Wildcat AH1 (ZZ398) 1st Regiment
(Serge Van Heertum©)
Polish Air Force PZL W-3WA Sokol (1014) 1.BLTr
(Serge Van Heertum©)
German Air Force Airbus Helicopter H145M (76+01) HSG64
(Serge van Oosterzee©)
 
Griffon 411
 
Belgian Air Force Agusta A109BA (H35) 17th Squadron “Griffon 411 leader”
(Serge van Oosterzee©)
French Army (ALAT) Eurocopter Tigre HAP (BIM) EFA (Ecole Franco-Allemande)
(Serge van Oosterzee©)
German Army (HEER) Eurocopter Tiger UHT (74+63) KHR36
(Serge Van Heertum©)
Romanian Air Force IAR330L SOCAT (38) Esc.952
(Serge Van Heertum©)
Romanian Air Force IAR330L SOCAT (53) Esc.952
(Serge Van Heertum©)
Romanian Air Force IAR330L SOCAT (46) Esc.952
(Serge Van Heertum©)
 
Griffon 421
 
Belgian Air Force Agusta A109BA (H45) 17th Squadron “Griffon 421 leader”
(Serge van Oosterzee©)
Turkish Land Forces TAI (Agusta-Westland) T-129 ATAK (17-1030) Volkan Filo
(Serge Van Heertum©)
Turkish Land Forces TAI (Agusta-Westland) T-129 ATAK (16-10XX) Volkan Filo
(Serge Van Heertum©)
Turkish Land Forces TAI (Agusta-Westland) T-129 ATAK (17-1025) Volkan Filo
(Serge Van Heertum©)
Hungarian Air Force Mil Mi-17N (705 Red) MH 86.HE
(Serge van Oosterzee©)
 
Griffon 431
 
Belgian Air Force Agusta A109BA (H28) 17th Squadron “Griffon 431 leader”
(Serge Van Heertum©)
 United States Army Sikorsky UH-60M Black Hawk (15-20743) 1-214th AVN
(Serge van Oosterzee©)
Czech Air Force Mil Mi-35 (3362) 221.vrl
(Serge van Oosterzee©)
Czech Air Force Mil Mi-35 (3366) 221.vrl
(Serge Van Heertum©)
German Army (HEER) Airbus Helicopter NH90 TTH (78+39) Transporthubschrauberregiment
(Serge Van Heertum©)
 
Griffon 441
 
Belgian Air Force Agusta A109BA (H21) 17th Squadron “Griffon 441 leader”
(Serge van Oosterzee©)
Czech Air Force Mil Mi-171Sh (9799) 222.vrl
(Serge van Oosterzee©)
Danish Air Force Agusta – Westland EH101 Mk512 (M-519) Esk 722
(Serge Van Heertum©)
Italian Air Force Agusta Westland HH-101A CSAR (15-05) 81° Centro AE – 15° Stormo
(Serge Van Heertum©)
Slovenian Air Force Aerospatial AS532AL Cougar (74) 151.HEESK
(Serge van Oosterzee©)
 

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