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    USAG Benelux provides aid during international manhunt

    Conex area at APS-2 Zutendaal

    Courtesy Photo | U.S. Soldiers and local national police clear a Conex area at Army Prepositioned Stock...... read more read more



    Story by Bryan Gatchell 

    U.S. Army Garrison Benelux

    ZAVENTEM, Belgium – In May 2021, a fugitive stole weaponry from the military barracks at Leopoldsburg, a town in Belgian Limburg, and made threats against the Belgian government and military and against the life of a prominent Belgian virologist.

    When the booby-trapped vehicle of the fugitive Jürgen Conings was found near Hoge Kempen National Park near the border of the Netherlands, the police and military of several countries, including military police from U.S. Army Garrison Benelux, coordinated on the manhunt.

    The Belgian army and the police forces of the Netherlands, Germany and Luxembourg conducted a search of the national park. The garrison was on alert as the garrison’s Army Prepositioned Stock (APS-2) Site Zutendaal was close to where the Belgian federal police discovered Conings’ vehicle.

    “In response to that, we proactively wanted to do a search of our base to ensure the security of the personnel, the contractors, that work there,” said Maj. Denard Honeysuckle, U.S. Army Garrison Benelux – Brussels provost marshal. “It was critical to us to secure the fence line and ensure none of our facilities were providing any sort of safe harbor for the suspect.”

    The garrison reached out to the federal police to ask for support in clearing APS-2 Zutendaal, said Honeysuckle. Coincidentally, the federal police were also seeking a base of operations in the area. The federal police and the garrison provided mutual support to one another. The garrison was able to ensure the security of the base, and the federal police had a place to coordinate the more-than-monthlong manhunt.

    A week after APS-2 Zutendaal was secured, garrison personnel discovered a breach in the fence line, prompting a hasty search by garrison military police. Personnel from across the garrison, from Chièvres Air Base and Brussels in Belgium, from Brunssum in the Netherlands and from APS-2 Dülmen in northern Germany, conducted a new search of the stock site.

    Ultimately, Conings’ body was found near where his vehicle was found one month later, and his death was ruled suicide by gunshot.

    Since the end of the search, Honeysuckle expressed pride in the garrison Soldiers, who were “able to turn it on and go toward the risk.” He also saw fruitfulness in collaborating with host nation law enforcement.

    “Relationships have to be exercised and nurtured,” said Honeysuckle. “So when you build a team of teams, you take two teams, put them under shared stresses and you get a shared victory.”



    Date Taken: 12.21.2021
    Date Posted: 12.21.2021 09:45
    Story ID: 411647
    Location: ZAVENTEM, VBR, BE 

    Web Views: 68
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