Historic Air Support Unit

 

 

 

There can be no doubt about it that aerial operations are of the highest importance to security services such as the police forces. At the beginning, these missions conducted by the Belgian Gendarmerie were made possible in cooperation with the Light Aviation unit of the Army (Light Avi) and were flown with Alouette II helicopters. In continuation the Gendarmerie decided in 1967 to purchase its own Alouette II followed later on by 3 Aerospatial SA 330 Puma for large scale operations. The Puma, twin-turbine helicopter was a necessity to overfly big conurbations but was also the indispensable tool to fullfill the missions with the special forces. These Puma's were deliverd in 1973 and based at Brasschaat within the facilities of the Light Avi Unit.

 

Following an in depth study by the Gendarmerie, they concluded it was highly recommended to establish an independent unit and in February 1992 a request was made to the Minister of Home Affairs. The Councel of Ministers approved the project and the 'aerial detachment' became a reality. On October 01, 1993, this detachment took possession of its new home at Melsbroek resold by the Belgian Air Force. However the unit kept using the facilities at Brasschaat until 1994.

On November 16, 1993, the Puma received the assistance of a Britten Norman BN2 Islander followed by 3 Cessna 182 Skylane (a 4th was ordered later on). All fixed wing aircraft are full IFR equipped which permits them to fly even in bad weather.

 

The gendarmery, latter the support unit of the Belgian federal police, in action

 

Mid 90's the decision was made to replace the aging Puma (1 had crashed near Lyon in France) and Alouette II. A public procedure was initiated and after a thorough study of the subject, the Mc Donell-Douglas MD900 Explorer was chosen. The first helicopter arrived at Melsbroek on January 21, 1997, the second during August of that year and the third one in 1999. 1999 is also the year the Alouette II were withdrawn and replaced by 2 Mc Donell-Douglas MD520. Both helicopter types benefit from the advanced NOTAR (No Tail Rotor) technology.

 

2001 saw the retirement of the sole Islander following a crash. But 2001 was also the year of the Belgian police reformation and so the aircraft of the Air Support Unit lost their 'Gendarmerie' colors to be painted with the new striping of the Federal Police.

 

Discretely but nevertheless with passion and most of all professionally, in 2008, the Belgian Federal Police Air Support Unit celebrates its 15 years of existence, so : HAPPY BIRTHDAY !!!!

 

 

    

 

Missions :

 

The Air Support Unit carries out various missions :

 

    - management of disordered events, such as traffic congestion, accidents, aircraft crashes, crowd manifestations, high risk sport competitions ;

 

    - search for missing persons ;

 

    - pursuits and interception of suspects

 

    - establish various delicts such as illegal drainage, illegal dumps, illegal laboratories ;

 

    - protection for VIP or money transfers

 

    - real time image transmissions to ground personnel

 

    - firefighting by means of a waterbucket

 

 

Aircraft in 2008 :

 

    - 3 Cessna 182 Skylane

 

    - 3 MD900 Explorer

 

    - 2 MD520

 

Fleet 1967 - 2008
     

Aerospatial Alouette II

A90 to A95  after  G90 to G95

1967 - 1999

Aerospatial SA330 Puma

G01 to G03

1973 - 1998

     

Britten Norman BN2 Islander

G05

1993 - 2000

 

Cessna 182 Skylane

G01 to G04

1994 - Active

     
 

Cessna 182 Skylane

G01 to G04

1994 - Active

 

Mc Donnell-Douglas MD900 Explorer

G10 to G12

1996 - Active

     
 

Mc Donnell-Douglas MD520N

G14 to G15

1999 - Active

  Click on the affiche to get the open door infos

 

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