Belgian Army Chief in Afghanistan

The Head of the Belgian Army General Gerard Van Caelenberge (archive photo) has arrived in Afghanistan to pay a suprise visit to the Belgian troops that are stationed there as part of NATO's ISAF mission.

After arriving at Kabul Airport, General Van Caelenberge took a hekicopter to the centre of the Afghan capital where held talks with the Commander of the ISAF mission, the American General Joseph Dunford. General Dunford is now nearing the end of his mandate as ISAF Commander.

The NATO mission in Afghanistan is due to terminate at the end of this year. Their are currently around 200 Belgian troop in Afghanistan. This is just a third of the number that were in the country at the hight of the foreign troop presence there.

Most of the Belgians are stationed in the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif and the southern city of Kandahar. Six Belgian F-16 fighter jets are also stationed in Afghanistan to offer air cover to ISAF ground troops.