Lieutenant-colonel (GS)

Director of the Department High Studies of Defence


Holder of a general staff degree, Lieutenant-colonel Christophe de Hemptinne was born in Leuven on 24 July 1963 and began his military career at the Royal Military Academy in 1981, with the 136th Polytechnical Promotion, and graduated with a degree in Civil Engineering, speciality Weapon Systems and Ballistics, in 1986. He completed his artillery officer training at the Field Artillery School in 1987, before joining the 17th Horse Artillery Regiment, based in Altenrath (Belgian Forces in Germany). First, he served as battery fire control officer, then as battalion fire control officer and deputy operations officer.

On his return to Belgium, in 1989, Lieutenant de Hemptinne became head of the Computer Section of the Belgian General Intelligence Service (SGR) and occupied this position for three years.

Captain de Hemptinne assumed then, in 1992, command of the B Battery of the 18th Horse Artillery Regiment in Brasschaat (Antwerp), until its disbandment in 1993, in the absence of new recruits following the suspension of conscription. As a result, he served as deputy operations officer, before joining the Studies Department of the Artillery School a few months later, also located in Brasschaat. In his capacity as project officer, he had the opportunity to contribute to numerous technical projects, including the purchase of 105 mm LG1 MkII towed artillery pieces produced by GIAT Industries, gyroscopes for artillery guns and GPS receivers for field artillery. During his period at the Studies Department, he also attended the Candidate Senior Officer Course at the Royal Higher Institute for Defence (RHID).

In 1998 Senior-Captain de Hemptinne was transferred to the Belgian Land Forces Staff in Evere (Brussels), where he served as deputy head of projects and programmes in the division Plans and Programmes (GSP).

Major de Hemptinne attended the general staff course in 2000-2001 and obtained the general staff (GS) degree with the 115th division.

Afterwards, he returned to the division Plans and Programmes of the Belgian Land Forces Staff, this time as deputy field artillery in the section Studies.

The major restructuring of the Belgian Defence Staff in 2002 took Major GS de Hemptinne to the newly created Staff Department for Strategy (ACOS Strat), where he worked on the plans regarding the combat support land capabilities. He also represented Belgium in the international meetings of the group FINABEL Foxtrot and the NATO land groups 4 and 6.

In mid-2004 he joined the Permanent Representation of Belgium to NATO (BELOTAN), where he initially is the adviser to the Permanent Representative in the field of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and civil emergency planning, and subsequently ‒ in the capacity of deputy military advisor ‒ in the fields of defence planning and policy, monitoring NATO military operations and partnerships.

Lieutenant-colonel GS de Hemptinne returned to ACOS Strat in 2008 in order to head the NATO Desk. At the end of 2009, he was appointed relationship manager for NATO and was responsible for the preparation, coordination and supervision of all political, military and strategic issues between the Belgian Defence Staff and NATO.

In early 2012, he became part-time liaison officer for the Belgian Defence to the President of the Steering Committee of the FPS Foreign Affairs, part-time synthesis officer for the division Defence Policy of ACOS Strat.

In March 2013, Lieutenant-colonel GS de Hemptinne was transferred to the Permanent Military Representation of Belgium to the European Union, where he served as adviser to the Permanent Military Representative and was responsible for the political and military monitoring of numerous defence- related issues within the Political and Security Committee (PSC), the Politico-Military Group (PMG) and the European Defence Agency (EDA).

Finally, on 1st July 2016, he became the director of the Department High Studies of Defence (HSD) at the RHID and the Belgian faculty advisor for the European Security and Defence College (ESDC).

He is married and has three daughters and two sons. He lives with his family in Brussels.