The PARA -COMMANDO Field Artillery Battery (By FA Para-Cdo)

To reinforce and increase the fire power of the Para-Commando Regiment, it is decided in 1972 to create a Para-Commando Field Artillery Battery.
On 14 May 1973, the Unit is created in Brasschaat on an experimental basis. It is made up of the personnel of the Mortar platoon 4″2 of the 1st Parachutist Battalion, the 2nd Commando Battalion and the 3rd Parachutist Battalion.
Commandant PSC (Commando) L Henrot is appointed as commandant of the new Unit.
On April 1, 1974, it officially receives the status of Independent Corps.
The Battery is made up of 9 Officers, 24 non-commissioned officers and 97 volunteers and conscripts.
It is organized so as to function as independent Unit and is equipped with six “Howitzer 105 mm” (United States) towed by diesel Unimog camions.
Regularly taking part in Ace Mobile Forces (AMF(L)) manoeuvres in Denmark, Italy, Greece and Turkey. The Battery takes part each year in the AMF(L) artillery exercises.
Since 1995, the Battery is, such as the Para-Commando Brigade, attached to the Multinational Division (MNDC).
From January 29 to February 09, 1993, the Battery takes part in the operation “SUNNY WINTER” in Congo Brazzaville, with the 3rd Parachutist Battalion and the Para-Commando Anti-Tank Company, in order to protect the evacuation of expatriates from Zaïre.
In 1993 the Battery takes part in mission UNOSOM in Somalia with the 2nd Commando Battalion under the blue beret to the service of the United Nations.
In April 1994, within the Para-Commando Brigade, the Battery takes part in mission “SILVER BACK” in Rwanda, in order to ensure the withdrawal of the 2nd Commando Battalion involved in the mission “UNAMIR” and the evacuation of foreigners.
In May 1997, the Battery takes part in the operation “GREEN STREAM” in Congo Brazzaville, as the 4th Company of the 2nd Battalion of Commandos.
Since 1998, the Battery is equipped with the 105mm LG1 MKII (GIAT French). However, it keeps three “HOWITZER 105mm (U.S), to be able to fire honour salvos at events concerning the Royal Family (marriages, births, deaths, taking oath of King).
The Battery is the only one of the Belgian Army Forces to be equipped with towed pieces; their use is simpler and more economic.
In April 1999, a Detachment of the Battery accompanies the 2nd Battalion of Commandos in Albania for the operation AMF(L) “ALLIED HARBOUR”, (escort and protection of convoys of Kosovan refugees from Kukes to Mjeda. Mid-July it gets back to Belgium.
The 2nd part of the Battery departs to Albania in reinforcement of the 3rd Lancers Parachutists Regiment, and returns to Belgium in mid-August.
Since September 4, 1976, the Para-Commando Field Artillery Battery is sponsored by the municipality of Bornem.

The bilingual Battery has taken up the Commando traditions: green beret and insignia specific to the Battery and the same attributes on the dress as the 2nd Commando Battalion.
The six artillery pieces carry some citations of the three Para-Commando Battalions: Normandy, Oldenburg, Italy, Walcheren, Chatkol and Imjin.
Since March 2, 2004, the Para-Commando Field Artillery Battery has amalgamated with the 2nd Artillery Battalion (2A). It is now named Para-Commando Battery / 2A. The personnel hold its green beret and continues to jump.
The Battery also keeps the Regiment Ardennes Chasseur (RACh) standard which it had received when it was Para-Commando Field Artillery Battery.

Since its creation, the Battery was based in Braschaat.

Corps Commanders

Major PSC L. Henrot 1973-1975
Major E. Van Den Broek 1975-1979
Major PSC i.r. C. Buze 1979-1981
Major PSC i.r. J-P. Roman 1981-1983
Major PSC W. Vanstraelen 1983-1986
Major L. Saelens 1986-1990
Major PSC M. Compernol 1990-1994
Major H. Koumans 1994-1996
Major PSC M. Depauw 1996-1998
Commandant L. Helsen 1998-2000
Major H. Holsteyn 2000-2003
Commandant E. Norga 2003-2004

Corps warrant officers

Chief warrant officer A. Vandermaelen 1976-1986
Warrant officer-Major W. Ophalfvens 1986-2003
Chief warrant officer M. Van Hassel 2003-2004

Corps corporals

1st Corporal Chief G. Panier 1995-1999
1st Corporal Chief H. Claessens 1999-2004