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SHAPE celebrates 50 years in Mons

Belgium Air Force F-16 fighter jets fly over the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe during a ceremony to commemorate the SHAPEs 50th anniversary in Belgium,  March 31,  2017. (NATO Photo by Sgt 1st Class Stefan Hass – DEUA)

MONS, Belgium – The Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe, General Sir James Everard, hosted a celebration at the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe Mar. 31, 2017 to commemorate 50 years of the headquarters being hosted in Mons.  

Senior leadership from SHAPE and local communities attended the event, including speeches from Elio Di Rupo, the mayor of Mons and DSACEUR, musical performances by the SHAPE International Band and an F-16 flyover by the Belgium Air Force.

"Today … is a celebration of 600 months of friendship, affinity and support," General Everard said. "We should all be proud and look to the next 50 years here in Belgium with confidence." 

SHAPE moved to Belgium on Mar. 30, 1967, after closing its facility in France. In total, it only took six and a half months to construct the main buildings and to declare SHAPE operational that same year.  During the ceremony, General Everard noted the youth in the audience, a hint to the continued relationship between SHAPE and Mons.

"It is particularly good to see the students of the SHAPE International School here," General Everard said. "You are our future." 

Continuing the SHAPE 50th Anniversary celebration, an exhibition "SHAPE Memories" will be hosted in Mons at the Hotel de Ville Apr. 2 to May 8 and will then move to the Mons Memorial Museum May 10 until an undecided date.   

Story by SHAPE Public Affairs Office

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