|Special Operations Regiment|
|Active||1 December 1948|
|Motto(s)||"Far ahead" , "who dares wins"|
|Colonel Tom Bilo|
|Parachute Qualification Brevet|
|Commando Qualification Brevet|
The Special Operations Regiment is a regiment of the Land Component of the Belgian Armed Forces. Its headquarters is located in Heverlee. Known until 3 July 2018 as the Light Brigade the regiment is Belgium's special operations and rapid response unit.
In January 1942 the first Belgian parachutists were trained at RAF Ringway, Manchester, England. The same year, the Belgian Independent Parachute Company was established and commanded by Captain Eddy Blondeel. Later, the unit was incorporated into the Special Air Service Brigade and became the 5th Special Air Service (known as the Belgian SAS squadron). The SAS squadron was active during World War II until enemy activities were discontinued. They performed several operations using the parachute regiment and armoured jeeps. Thereafter, the unit also took part in counter-intelligence operations.
On 21 September 1945 5th SAS was transferred from the British Army to the newly reformed Belgian Army. Renamed the Regiment of Parachutists SAS they served independently as a highly mobile airborne unit until 1952 when the regiment merged with the Commando Regiment to form a battalion of the Para Commando Regiment.
The Regiment was transformed in 1989 to the Para Commando Brigade. A few years later in 2002, it became the IRCC (Immediate Reaction Capability Command). After the next transformation in 2003, it became the Light Brigade and was stationed in Marche-en-Famenne.
On 3 July 2018 the Light Brigade was transformed into the Special Operations Regiment and its headquarter moved to Heverlee.
- Special Operations Regiment in Marche-en-Famenne.
- Headquarters and Staff Company, carrying the traditions of the 4th Commando Battalion in Heverlee.
- Special Forces Group,carrying the traditions of the 1st Paratroopers Battalion in Heverlee.
- 2nd Commando Battalion Para Commando, in Flawinne.
- 3rd Paratroopers Battalion Para Commando, in Tielen.
- 6th Communication and Information Systems Group, in Peutie.
- Paratroopers Training Centre, at Schaffen Air Base.
- Commando Training Centre, in Marche-les-Dames.
Other units with Para Commandos
Other units personnel from the Belgian Armed Forces that support the 2nd Commando Battalion and 3rd Paratrooper Battalion, who as well as there primary trade have to complete the Para commandos "A" certificate training and in doing so earn their Parachutists and Commando Brevets. Some of these units are currently in the process of being integrated in the new SOR (Special Operations Regiment) structure and as such will no longer be depend upon the non-paracommando HQ of their former unit.
- Artillery Battalion selected members of:
- 11th Engineer Battalion
- Light combat engineers company (68th Company) (wear a Sherwood green beret with Engineers badge)
- 14th Medical Battalion of the Medical Component
- Medical (Special Operations Regiment) company (wear a maroon beret with unique Para Commando Medical badge)
- Logistics (Maintenance / Repair , Transportation and Supply ) personnel attached to units within or support the Special Operations Regiment (wear a Sherwood green beret with special operations regiments badge).
- 6th signaling battalion (communication and information systems) supports the regiment with all means of communication. (wear a maroon beret with cis badge)
- "Instauration officielle du nouveau Special Operations Regiment". Belgian Military. Retrieved 7 July 2018.
- "Het Special Operations Regiment". Belgian Armed Forces. Retrieved 24 May 2021.
- http://www.bataljonartillerie.be/2014_07_ Website of the Battalion (in Dutch)
- "Belgium". Military Engineering Centre of Excellence. Retrieved 2021-04-11.
- "Nieuw Bataljon bij de Medische Component". Belgian Armed Forces. Retrieved 20 May 2020.