Women join Belgian army special forces for the first time

The Belgian army’s special forces group (SFG) has integrated the first women into its ranks, within a “deep development capacity“(or” Deep Development Capability “, DDC), we learned on Friday during a visit by the Minister of Defense, Ludivine Dedonder, to this elite unit quartered in Heverlee (Louvain).

This new capability, created by operational necessity, has already proven its usefulness in operations and has obtained good results, the Defense said in a statement – without specifying where this engagement had taken place.

The missions of the unit

The SDC is a support capacity within the SFG, capable of operating in direct support of special forces teams. Its tasks include mission analysis, conducting surveys, analyzing the environment and data, making contact with the local population and maintaining stable contact, building human network as well. wide as possible and the influence of the network for the success of the mission.

All-male teams can hinder certain missions

According to Defense, a theater of operations is multifaceted, complex and is not exclusively male. There is therefore an operational need for a mixed capacity (men and women) within the DDC. In operational environments, the local population can be made up of up to 65% women and children. This is an identical proportion of people that all-male special forces teams cannot approach for cultural and / or religious reasons.

The mixed composition of the DDC solves this problem, allowing the SFG to better connect with the environment and the local population during its operations and therefore to understand and fully understand them, underlined the Defense. During her visit to the SFG, Ms. Dedonder spoke with the female staff assigned to the DDC since the end of 2020.

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