Belgian Air Force Demo Team 2012
   Text Serge Van Heertum  -  Pictures : Serge Van Heertum, Luc Dujardin, Marc Arys & other as mentionned © sbap 2012  

The festivities and other military presentations started on July 19th with a press meeting at Melsbroek airbase. Opened by Minister of defense, Mister Pieter De Crem (CDNV), his speech was underlining the retreived political stability since a government was in function and the start of duty of the new Chief of Defense (CHOD), the General Gérard Van Caelenberge allowing to look forward in the future of the Belgian Defense. As every year, the national day is underlining different themes. This year it was the Pooling & Sharing program, the different operations held by the Belgian defense in the world, the new material acquired or to come and the 60 anniversary of the Para-Commando regiment.


General Van Caelenberge, Chief of Defense
 Mister Pieter De Crem Minister of Defense

(Serge Van Heertum)

  (Luc Dujardin)
General-Major Philippe Martin (Chief of the defile), Mister Pieter De Crem (Minister of Defense) and Colonel Thierry Dupont (Pooling and Sharing program)
(Serge Van Heertum)
Kolonel Bert Van Vlerken (Operations presentation)  (Luc Dujardin) Kapitein-Commanndant Koenraad Staelens (Para-Commando)  (Luc Dujardin)

Pooling & Sharing


This notion as to be divided in two specific rules
The pooling is the organization in a collective way, of similar military purposes and resources that remain national property. This kind of cooperation is axed on an efficiency increase with a stable budget resource or personnel deployed. The goal of the pooling is the improvement of capacities in different domains like the new material acquisition, the formations and training, the logistic support…this kind of sharing is flexible and reversible.
The sharing is the creation of a joint program including the resources of each participant (budget, personal, equipment…). This kind of cooperation is mostly axed on the efficiency increase. For example solve a collective deficit or allow a nation to get access to some program, which is too expensive for their own national development. As a concrete example we can underline the AJets program since 2004 or the European Air Group launched in 2011.
To underline the Pooling and Sharing concept the aerial fly pass over Brussels include a
Luftwaffe C-160 Transall of the LTG63, a 336 squadron C-130H-30 of the Royal Netherland Air Force, EC-120 Colibri from Dax and Embraer Xingu from avord.

The current 11 programs are :

1 Helicopter Training Program (HTP)
2 Maritime Surveillance (MARSUR)
3 Medical Treatment Facilities (MTF)
4 European Satellite Communications Procurement Cell (ESCPC)
5 Aircrew Training
6 Air-To-Air refueling (
7 Naval Training and Logistics
8 Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR)
9 Smart Munitions
10 European Transport Hubs
11 Future Military Satellite Communications (SATCOM)


  A-Jets school and HeliDax school with a EC-120 "Colibri" (Serge Van Heertum)

Will follow some pooling & Sharing programs in the training and education domain.
The Belgian Defense is also integrated in NATO pooling & sharing programs like Multinational Approaches (MNA) or Task Force (TF). The 8 projects including the Belgian Defense are:
1 Immersive Training Environments
2 Remote Controlled Vehicles for Route Clearance Operations
3 Pooling & Sharing Multinational Medical Treatment Facilities
4 Pooling CBRN capabilities (DEU-BEL-LUX regional grouping)
5 Jammers Against Remotely Controlled IED’s
6 Entry Control Point (ECP) Suite Package
7 FAC/JTAC Simulation and Training
8 Mine Sweeping Drones

In conclusion we can underline that Belgium is regularly shown as an example in the cooperation domain (French-Belgian pilot training program, European Transport command…).

                                    Piranha III C 8x8 DF30(Luc Dujardin)

336 Sqn RNLAF C-130H-30 and  LTG 63 Luftwaffe Transall  (Serge Van Heertum)  



During the last years Belgium was or is still present in different countries like Afghanistan, Lebanon, Libya, different African countries and also in some naval operations. We will focus on the ones devoted to the Belgian Air Force.

Since 2003 Belgium is involved in the NATO ISAF missions and Belgium has 600 soldiers there, based in 3 different regions:
Kaboul (KAIA) for the security of the international airport.
Kunduz in the north for the instruction and training of the independent Afghan army
Kandahar were 6 F-16AM are based and devoted to the allied ground troops support.

During seven months the Belgian Air Force was involved in the Odyssey Dawn & Unified Protector operations against the dictatorial  regime of Colonel Gadhafi. From March 21 until October 31, 2011 6 F-16AM combat aircraft were based in Greece at Araxos airbase. The first part of the Belgian operations was maintaining the respecting of the non-flying zone and later on air to ground missions to protect the civilians against the army of Colonel Gadhafi. More can be read about the Libyan operation in our special page :

Congo (RDC):
Requested by the United Nation, the Belgian Air Force is still present through the MONUSCO mission. A C-130H of the 15th Transport Wing is permanently detached there and ensures military transportation for the MONUSCO. The plane and 21 military personnel are based at Bangoka International Airport near the city of Kisangani.

To underline all the Belgian Defense participations and the amazing job done by the Belgian soldiers on international level, some detachments were put in the spotlight during the defile in the Belgian capital. For the Belgian Air Force it was the 2nd and 10th Tactical Wings of Florennes and Kleine Brogel for their involvement in the Unified Protector operation over Libya.

LMV & Pandur 6x6 (Serge Van Heertum)

New Material

The Belgian defense is in constant evolution and to be able to perform the allotted tasks the material is in constant evolution and new equipment is needed. Some new kind of vehicles are used, like the Piranha III Armored infantry vehicle (in two versions: Fusilier and DF30), the LMV (Light Multirole Vehicle, the Dingo 2 in command post version or ambulance and the Pandur 6x6 Reconnaissance Vehicle.

For the Navy the brand new ordered material is the Seafox-I and Seafox-C. The “I” version is a mine identification reusable vehicle used for the detection of mines, or the training of mine fighters. The “C” version is not reusable, equipped with 1,5 kilogram explosive, his devoted mission is the destruction of the mines.

For the Belgian Air Force it’s the new planned material like the NH-90 helicopter or the A400M transport aircraft. To show the future of the Belgian Air Force during the fly pass over Brussels, an NH-90 of the Netherlands Air Force was integrated and for the first time above Belgium one of the A400M prototypes coming directly from Toulouse.

Special page NH90:

NH-90 (courtesy Bart Rosselle)  &  A400M (courtesy Faye Mchale) The future of Belgian Air Force transport (Luc Dujardin)

70/60 for the Belgian para-commando regiments

In 1942 the history of the Belgian commando and the Belgian parachutist started due to the world conflict. Both units were treated as two different units until 1952 when the two were merged. Since 60 years now the Belgian Para-Commando units are well known for the actions they have taken during different conflict situations all around the world. Mostly deployed for protection and evacuation operations, everybody remembers the independence of the Congo in 1960, the famous Kolwezi operation in the 1970s and most recently the Afghan conflict. This Belgian elite was also present in ex-Yugoslavia, Albania, Tchad, Somalia, in the Persian Gulf or still in Lebanon. When we talk about the Para-Commandos, the link with the Belgian Air Force is obvious. This through the 15th Transport Wing of Melsbroek and their C-130H “Hercules” that performs hundreds of flight hours for the benefit of the para-commando regiment. This unit was also highlighted during the military parade to underline the double anniversary of this prestigious unit.


  The Para-Commando regiment and the C-130H "Hercules" (Serge Van Heertum)
July 21st, the National day
(Luc Dujardin)

Thanks to the authorities, our team was allowed to take part of the aerial defile on board a C-130H and the airbus A330.
After the boarding of the A330, the C-130 passengers received a useful safety briefing. Boarding and start up with the particular burned kerosene odor
coming in the cargo bay. We are number 3 for taxi and take off. As soon as the clearance was given the CH05 foreseen as leader took off followed by the CH12 as right wingman and ourselves with the CH04 as left wingman. We did the usual navigation in direction of the coast, east of Gent, Middenburg, Ruislede to make the final bank in direction of Aalst. The pass over the Royal palace was performed at a flight level of 1200 feet, perfectly on schedule, and in close formation. After the pass above Beauvechain airbase we took the direction of Antwerpen for a close formation over fly. After the pass the navigation brought us back at Melsbroek and after a perfect tactical break the 3 C-130’s landed on the runway 25R. After 1 hour and 40 minutes of flight we were back on the 15th Wing parking. Again a perfect aerial fly pass with this time a good weather and no national rain precipitations above the Belgian capital.

By this page SBAP team would like to thanks the authorities for all the facilities, DG COM and Comopsair IPR for the facilities and flight authorization, our special flight guide Adj “Jo” Vanden Broeck and the crew of the CH04 for their kindness during the flight allowing some good pictures.


The 45 aircraft above Brussels...

6 x Alpha Jet

8 x SF.260
8 x F-16AM

3 x EMB 120
Xingu (FR)

6 x A109
1 x EC-120 (FR)
1 x Alouette III

2 x Seaking Mk 48
1 x NH-90 (NL)
3 x C-130H
1 x C-130H (NL)
1 x Transall (GE)
1X Falcon 20
1 X Falcon 900D
1 x A330
1 x A400M (AIRBUS)

Towed to the apron (Serge Van Heertum) Preparing the planes (Serge Van Heertum)
"White fleet" ready for boarding (Serge Van Heertum) Boarding timing (Serge Van Heertum)
The multinational transport aircraft fleet (Luc Dujardin)
In the cockpit few minutes before start up (Serge Van Heertum) Awaiting taxi clearance (Serge Van Heertum)
Overhead panel...all is OK! (Serge Van Heertum) Pre programmed radio frequencies (Serge Van Heertum)
Digital engine control panel (Serge Van Heertum) Throttles forward, here we go (Serge Van Heertum)
Our leader (Serge Van Heertum) Take off from 25R (Serge Van Heertum)
CH05 (Danny Carels) CH04 (Danny Carels)
RNLAF C-130H-30 (Danny Carels) Luftwaffe Transall (Danny Carels)
Embraer ERJ-135 (Danny Carels) Airbus A330 (Danny Carels)
Typical winglet of the A330 (Luc Dujardin) Tongerlo Abbey (Luc Dujardin)
Vorselaar Castle (Luc Dujardin) A pass at Beauvechain airbase (Luc Dujardin)
Right turn after the take off (Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) Heading the Belgian coast (Serge Van Heertum)
Just with the beacon light! (Serge Van Heertum) Between Ruislede and Aalst (Serge Van Heertum)
A Jet passing forward to be the first at Brussels (Marc Arys) Entering the Belgian capital (Serge Van Heertum)
The great market (Serge Van Heertum) Above Royal Palace (Marc Arys)
The National Library (Serge Van Heertum) A part of the European parliament buildings (Serge Van Heertum)
Some pictures from the Royal Palace : Alpha Jet smoke (Fatma Lahbi) Four F-16's box (Fatma Lahbi)
Siai Marchetti SF.260 (Fatma Lahbi) The "Red Devils" (Fatma Lahbi)
Agusta A109 and EC-120 formation (Fatma Lahbi) Seaking Mk 48 (Fatma Lahbi)
Lockheed C-130H (Fatma Lahbi) Three aircraft formation (Fatma Lahbi)
C-130H-30 from Netherland (Fatma Lahbi) C-160 "Transall" from Germany (Fatma Lahbi)
Airbus A330 (Fatma Lahbi) And certainly a star above Brussels, the A400M "Atlas" (Fatma Lahbi)
Above the Alouette III and the Seaking Mk48 (Serge Van Heertum) Amazing Brussels (Marc Arys)
And above the Agusta and EC-120 "Colibri" (Serge Van Heertum) After Brussels heading Beauvechain (Serge Van Heertum)
The navigation continue to the north (Serge Van Heertum) A fly pass over Antwerpen city (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Marc Arys)
(Marc Arys) Approaching Brussels (Serge Van Heertum)
Formation change for the tactical break (Serge Van Heertum) (Danny Carels)
Break... (Danny Carels) ...break... (Serge Van Heertum)
...break! (Marc Arys) CH05 at landing on the 25R (Danny Carels)
Same for the CH04 (Danny Carels) and finaly the Falcon 20 (Danny Carels)
A last view in the cargo...who knows what it is ?  
(Serge Van Heertum)
The CH04 crew. Many thanks guy's for your help during the flight
(Serge Van Heertum)

See also our friend sites:

Pierre Gillard   -  -   Ailes Militaires Belges



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