Bye bye "Mitch"...Welcome "Grat"...

Text & Pictures : Marc Arys © sbap 2011

 

     

The former Gendarmerie-Rijkswacht, nowadays the Federal Police, already flew air support missions on Taylorcraft Auster AOP Mk VI and Piper L.16C Cub from the Brasschaat airbase, home of the former Belgian Light Aviation. In 1968 the unit received its first S.A. 318 C Alouette II (OL-A90 / G90) and 1969 saw the delivery of the sixth and last one (OL-A95 / G95). The first Aérospatiale SA.330C Puma (OL-G01) entered service in 1973. OL-G02 and OL-G03 followed in less than a year.

October 01, 1993 was a key point in the history of the Air Support Unit as the unit moved from Brasschaat to his actual homebase at Melsbroek, on the military side of Brussels National Airport which is also the home of the 15 Wing Air Transport of the Belgian Air Component.

In 1996, the Puma and Alouette were gradually replaced by 3 McDonell Douglas MD900 and 2 MD520N. A fourth MD902 was acquired in 2010 and operationally commissioned in august 2011. Besides these helicopters the unit still operates two Cessna 182.

The MD900 state-of-the-art helicopters proved to be the spearpoint of the unit as per anno 2011 the fleet logged its 20.000th flight hour. This milestone was celebrated with the actual personnal together with Brian Reid of MD Helicopters, Inc. and representatives of the European Support Center of MD in Belgium.

Brian Reid presented a commemorative plaque to highlight the achievement of the Air Support Unit of the Belgian Federal Police.

   
20.000 flight hours honoured by the Brussels Airport firebrigade
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   

The commemorating plaque received from MD

   

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