Belgian Air Force Demo Team 2012
   Text: Serge Van Heertum - Pictures: Serge Van Heertum, Luc Dujardin, Laurent Cuvelier & Bruno Ghils  © sbap 2012

The 2nd Tactical Wing Line & Armament squadron was born in November 1987 when Florennes air base lost the last Mirage aircraft to get the F-16’s of the second batch ordered by the Belgian air Force. In fact the pilots of the 2nd Wing started their conversion course in June 1987 at Beauvechain OCU. The first Fighting Falcon landed at Florennes on October 14th, 1988 and was taken in charge by the brand new line & armaments squadron.
The task of this squadron is the daily implementation of the aircraft. This main task is divided in two parts. First the line flight who is responsible for the turnaround and the first line troubleshooting and the second flight is dedicated to the rearmament of the aircraft (Missiles, bombs, bullets, chaff and flares) in function of the planned missions. The line and armament squadron is a part of the general maintenance group of Florennes. This group consists of four squadrons:
Line and armaments squadron  (Esc L & A)
Maintenance squadron (Esc M Avn)
Electronic and communication squadron (Esc E & T)
Transport vehicles squadron (
Esc MT)
The Logistical Support cell complete the group.

In 2012, the line and armaments squadron was 25 years old. It was an occasion to underline this birthday with an open door. This event was held at Florennes on September 22nd and after our visit to this event, we can underline the real involvement and passion for aviation shown by the L&A team along the day. Three F-16’s were exposed with different armament configurations and the visitors could take place on board to have all the desired technical explanations. One of the exposed aircrafts was just back from a mission in Afghanistan and we were able to see that our F-16 were suffering from the extreme conditions at Kandahar. Effectively the FA72 had really worn paint and we could see that the extremely fine sand was introduced throughout. The plane will go soon in overhaul to get back in is former aspect.
This day was also the occasion for the Belgian F-16AM solo display “Grat” to perform his last demonstration for the 2012 season. All conditions were met: Good atmosphere and sun…”Grat” was preparing himself in front of the public and after the startup and the crew chief controls, it was taxiing to the holding point. Everybody was ready to watch our national “Grat”….but sadly at holding point the FA84 suffered a technical problem and the demonstration was aborted. Security and professionalism first! Real professional and public relation minded, “Grat” went to the public to sign autographs and posing for photographs. For him the display season is over and after a holiday period he will go to Afghanistan to keep his combat qualifications.
We would like to thank all the Line & Armaments team for the pleasant welcome and certainly for their kindness shown during all the explanations they gave about their beloved job. Also “Grat” for his usual kindness and availability. In one word a pleasant sunny day on Florennes apron.

(Laurent Cuvelier) (Laurent Cuvelier)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Luc Dujardin)
(Laurent Cuvelier) (Serge Van Heertum)

All needed explanaitions (Laurent Cuvelier)

(Serge Van Heertum)
"Fa" giving informations (Serge Van Heertum) More than a job...a passion... (Luc Dujardin)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Bruno Ghils) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Bruno Ghils) (Bruno Ghils)
(Bruno Ghils) (Luc Dujardin)
(Bruno Ghils) (Laurent Cuvelier)


(Luc Dujardin) (Luc Dujardin)
Some material used by the L&A squadron (Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
"Gabriel" gave the all day cockpit informations  (Serge Van Heertum) Another one who likes his job (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) Future generations are coming (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Luc Dujardin) (Luc Dujardin)
(Serge Van Heertum)   (Luc Dujardin)   (Serge Van Heertum)
The sand from Afghanistan in the FA72 (Laurent Cuvelier) The sand results on the FA72 skin...impressive (Luc Dujardin)
(Luc Dujardin) (Luc Dujardin)
Visitors had also the oportunity to fly with the BDA (Laurent Cuvelier) Franchimont carreer (Luc Dujardin)
Omezée village (Luc Dujardin) Vodelée village(Luc Dujardin)
Heer-sur-Meuse bridge (Luc Dujardin) Ansereme with the N97 road bridge (Laurent Cuvelier)
Dinant fortification and Bellevue college (Laurent Cuvelier) Florennes air base (Luc Dujardin)

The Royal Belgian Air Cadets were also present for the youngsters
(Luc Dujardin)

(Luc Dujardin)

(Serge Van Heertum)

"Grat" making the turn around (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) With "Vicky" his crew chief (Luc Dujardin)
This is also a task for the L&A squadron (Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
"Grat" is already in the clouds (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) The smoke pod (Serge Van Heertum)
The refueling of the pod is also a responsability of the armament specialist
(Serge Van Heertum)
Aircraft functions control
(Serge Van Heertum)
(Laurent Cuvelier) (Laurent Cuvelier)
(Laurent Cuvelier) (Luc Dujardin)
The crew chief release the plane (Luc Dujardin) The complicity between the pilot and his technician (Serge Van Heertum)
Stop for armaments control and release (Laurent Cuvelier) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) At holding point (Serge Van Heertum)
Sadly a technical failure was the reason to cancel the demonstration
(Serge Van Heertum)
"Grat" back in the public area...always smilling!
(Luc Dujardin)
Family is also important! (Serge Van Heertum) Pilot...an image for the young generation (Luc Dujardin)
Some radio models presentation to complete the day (Luc Dujardin) (Luc Dujardin)
(Serge Van Heertum) Like a big one! (Serge Van Heertum)
Last view on the apron...(Luc Dujardin) ...and back home after a real pleasant day (Luc Dujardin)

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