Belgian Air Force Demo Team 2012
   Text  &  Pictures : Serge Van Heertum © sbap 2012

This year no airshow at Koksijde air base as the yearly international event organized by the Belgian Air Force was held at Florennes. This was certainly disappointing for the people who spent usually holidays on the Belgian coast and that plan a visit to the annual airshow during the summer. Rapidly an idea came up to open the doors of the base allowing the public to spend a visit to the guardian angels of the 40 squadron. This open door was focused on all the services that help the nation and the people involved in all possible catastrophic scenarios. The Belgian defense was present with the local helicopters Seaking and Alouette III from the Navy flight but also with many different units. The 15th transport wing, the heli wing of Beauvechain air base, the 80th UAV squadron, the meteo wing (yes…this is a service used by everybody to know the weather forecast…before a trip or simply a garden party) and many others like the DOVO unit who was honored after the accident of Helchteren were a member lost his life in a tragic accident with explosives. Not only the defense was present but also civilian services involved in the aid of the nation like the Belgian police with a range of different specialties : Air support unit, Road prevention, DVI (recognition of victims) and much more. The “Protection Civile” who is regularly on the terrain to help the population was also present with different and heavy equipment. Was noted also different kind of anti-pollution units, civilian medical evacuation companies and also old timer’s vehicles that have a relation with the emergency services.

This open door was a new but interesting concept to show the public who and what is involved in security. The public was able to visit different exhibitions but also be a witness of dynamic demonstrations like anti explosive dog show, chemical-bacteriologic interventions, fire brigade in action, air support unit helicopter in various missions and the well-known Seaking in a SAR (Search and Rescue) demonstration.
This unusual event was also the occasion to hold a formal ceremony in memory of all the victims who gave their life during interventions. After a speech from Lt Col vli Peter Van den Broucke base commander of Koksijde and Mister Marc Vanden Bussche Mayor of the city underlining the importance of all the emergency units in a country, a minute of silence was held and a wreath was laid at the foot of the national colors. The closure of the ceremony was performed by a Seaking fly pass above the parade ground supported by all the present vehicles sirens…impressive and very touching.
As conclusion we can say that this kind of manifestation was a good initiative and the total amount of visitors was the proof of the interest.
After the open door end, was a runway run organized between 5 pm and 7 pm.  A run from 5 or 10 kilometers on the taxiway and runway of the base.  This second event of the day had also a great success with 250 inscriptions and probably more with the last minutes. It was a great moment for some participant to use the runway in an unusual way. Some friends of Comopsair did the run and our team will congratulate them for the results.
Many thanks to the base authorities and Comopsair IPR team for the accreditation and the facilities during this report

During the press point: Lt Col Vli Van den Broucke, Koksijde base commander Maj Reza Vandenbroucke, 40 Squadron command officer
Nico Paelinck, Chief of Police west coast area Jorik Debruyne, Chief of Police Veurne city
The guardin angel...the Seaking and his brother in arm, the Alouette III from the Navy flight
Agusta A109 in MEDEVAC configuration Piranha in ambulance version
MD 900 from Police Air support unit  
Special police vehicle For the water operations
Flooding evacuation system from the "Protection Civile" BFast vehicles
Civilian MEDEVAC helicopter BN-2 Islander from the UGMM (Mathematical Model Management Unit)
The 15th Transport Wing with the C-130H... ... and the Embraer
Aifield fire brigade Old timer ambulance

80 UAV Squadron B-Hunter engine

  The control unit
Air Support Unit dynamic demonstration Seaking SAR demonstration
Lt Col Vli Van den Broucke, Mister Marc Vanden Bussche Koksijde Mayor
One minute of silence Wreath

During the Belgian national hymn

The Seaking fly pass with all the sirens as closure of the formal ceremony  

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