Thursday, 6 October 2016

Rear Admiral Wim Robberecht

The New Commander, Belgian Naval Component, and Deputy Admiral BeNe Lux

Rear Admiral Wim Robberecht is new Commander, Belgian Naval Component, and Deputy Admiral BeNe Lux.
(Photo: Belgian Naval Component) 
On 20 September 2016, Rear Admiral Wim Robberecht took over the position as Commander of the Naval Component of the Belgian Armed Forces and Deputy Admiral BeNeLux (ABNL) from his predecessor, Rear Admiral Georges Heeren. He entered the Royal Military Academy in 1980 and graduated in 1985 with a Master degree in nautical and military sciences. As a Sub-Lieutenant, he served in different billets on-board several mine-countermeasure vessels (MCMVs) and, in 1987, he assumed his first command of the inshore minesweeper BNS “Dinant”. 
Upon completion of the Principal Warfare Officer (PWO) course, with additional tickets as Navigation & Action Information Officer and Helicopter Direction Officer, at the Operational School in Den Helder, Netherlands, in 1988, Rear Admiral Robberecht embarked on-board the frigates BNS “Wielingen” and BNS “Westhinder” as PWO. After a period ashore (1990-1993) as Flag Lieutenant to the Chief of Naval Staff , then Admiral Willy Herteleer, he embarked on-board the frigate BNS “Wandelaar” as Head of the Operational Department during which he participated in Operation SHARP GUARD off the coast of former Yugoslavia. Having completed his pre-commander course in 1996, he returneds to sea, taking command of the minehunters BNS “Aster” and BNS “Narcis”, deploying with NATO’s permanent MCM squadron STANAVFORCHAN, which is today’s SNMCMG1.
Following a course at the NATO School at Oberammergau, Germany, he served as Branch Chief of the Direction Plans and Programmes. Promoted to Commander in 1998, he was appointed staff officer at the Joint Staff Personnel Division, taking part in the studies centrering on the restructuring programmes for the Belgian Armed Forces.
After finishing the Maritime Warfare Course in Portsmouth (UK), he joined the frigate BNS “Westdiep”, subsequently BNS “Wielingen” as their executive officer, deploying with the latter to the Caribbean in support of the counter-drug operations.
Upon graduation from the Royal Defence College in Brussels in 2002 and promoted to Commander senior grade, he assumed the position of Director Naval Education. Then, in September 2004, he took up duties as Assistant of the Director General Human Resources and, in September 2005, those of Deputy Chief at the Cabinet of the Chief of Defence. During this period, Rear Admiral Robberecht also graduated as ‘Master Class in Human Resources Management’ at the Vlerick Management University in Ghent.
In March 2007, he became the first Commanding Officer (CO) of the frigate BNS “Leopold I”, the ex-Royal Netherlands Navy’s Zr.Ms. “Karel Doorman”. During his two years as CO, he brought the ship up to Full Operational Capability (FOC) and took her on her maiden operational deployment to the Eastern Mediterranean in support of Operation UNIFIL MarOps (CTF 448) off Lebanon.
After relinquishing this two-year command in 2009, he returned to the naval staff as Deputy Director of the Joint Staff Director, General Human Resources. Selected for the higher staff course, he then graduated from the Royal Defence College in Brussels and completed the ‘Cycle Supérieur des Ressources Humaines’ at the Management Training Centre of the French Ministry of Defence (CMFD) in Paris. Hereupon, he was promoted the position of Director Maritime Operations, Belgian Naval Component, and Deputy Director Operations in the ABNL staff in Den Helder, Netherlands.
In 2012, he took the helm of Head of Operations of the section Joint Operations Division Defence Staff for which Rear Admiral Robberecht was responsible for the ongoing operations of all Belgian military personnel. Two years later, he was appointed Head of Cabinet to the Chief of Defence and subsequently promoted Rear Admiral (upper half) in June 2016.
Rear Admiral Robberecht is married to Ann Dubois and father of three children. He has been awarded, amongst other, the following honorary distinctions: Sword of His Majesty the King; Commander in the Order of the Crown; Officer in the Order of Leopold; Military Cross First Class; National Award for Operations abroad; NATO and WEU medals for the participation in operation SHARP GUARD and the UN Service medal for participation in operation UNIFIL MarOps.