Text: Serge Van Heertum - Pictures: Serge Van Heertum, Laurent Cuvelier & Bruno Ghils  © sbap 2013

End of september and the Sioux tribe was in full effervescence... it was not the fact that the war axe had been excavated, but to give the public access to the premises during the open door at Melsbroek. This years event was held to emphasize four anniversaries. The first being the 65 years of the 15 Transport Wing. The Belgian military transport was established during the second World War within the Bomber Command in England. After the war, a liaison flight was created at the airfield of Haren. The flight then moved over to Evere to form the 169 Wing comprising the 366 and 367 squadron. From this moment on, the Air Force transport continued to develop and to grow. On May 01, 1948, the 169 Wing leaves the place to the 15 Wing transport and liaison. 65 years ! In 1951 the Wing settled at Melsbroek airbase continuousely evolving to become what the Wing is today. This Wing wrote its letters of nobility throughout the years thanks to its availability and efficiency during all the humanitarian or support missions they were assigned with.

Together with the Wing two of its aircraft celebrated their 40 anniversary of good and loyal services. The C-130H "Hercules" rides the skies already for 40 years and its venue and possibility of long distance projection made it an essential asset of the Belgian armed forces and one have to admit that the aircraft also took a little place in the harts of our citizens following regularlry the informations and missions of the men of the 15 Wing.

More discrete but no less important within the structure of the Air Force, the Dassault Falcon 20 also celebrates 40 years of dedicated service. Used mainly for VIP or VVIP transport, this aircraft possess a long range capability and was last modernised in 2004.

Besides the 15 Transport Wing you can find another unit based at Melsbroek airbase the Air Support Unit of the Federal Police. This unit celebrated 20 years of excellence, equipped with MD900/902 and MD520N (Notar) helicopters and two Cessna 182 Skyline.

The unit was first part of the Army and used to fly the Alouette II based at Brasschaat at that time. In 1993 the unit became autonomous within the structure of the former gendarmerie, flying 5 Alouette II and 3 Aérospatiale Puma and moved to its actual location, Melsbroek. The unit continued to develop becoming the elite so much spoken off in the media. 

The open door at melsbroek was organized to celebrate all these anniversaries allowing the public to actively take part into this event. A static display gathering actual and ancient airplanes, various squadron-, constructor- or equipment booths...

No smashing flying demonstrations, one must not forget Melsbroek is the military side of Brussels National airport and all normal activities continued to take place. However the public could see some C-130H and Falcon flights and multiple demonstrations of the Air Support Unit of the federal police, showing off the capabilities of the MD900 helicopter. As Colonel Avi Bernard Masuy liked to emphasize, the show was also made up by the take-offs and landings of commercial airliners of which some sported celebrational colours.

This open door was in all an undisputed success and the numerous visitors are an evidence to this. As could be heard amongst the visitors : swiftly through the next 5 years to celebrate the Wing's 70th anniversary...(sic)

SBAP would like to thank Comopsair IPR (Adj Philippe Van Huyck) and the public relation service of the 15 Wing (Filip Wouters) for granting us our accreditation and facilities during our visit.

Happy Birthday Sioux, Hercules, Falcon and DAFA…keep your spirit on !

   
15th Transport Wing...65 years
   
  (Serge Van Heertum)
   
KLU C-130H (Serge Van Heertum) RAF Hercules C3A (Serge Van Heertum)
   
RCAF C-130J (Serge Van Heertum) (Laurent Cuvelier)
   
(Serge Van Heertum) RDAF C-130J (Serge Van Heertum)
   
(Laurent Cuvelier) Open Skies Pod (Serge Van Heertum)
   
Airbus A330-322 (Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
   
Douglas DC-3 in KLM sheme (Bruno Ghils)
   
Stampe & Vertongen SV-4bis (Serge Van Heertum) (Laurent Cuvelier)
   
North American T-6 Harvard (Serge Van Heertum) (Laurent Cuvelier)
   
Siai Marchetti SF.260 (Serge Van Heertum) Britten Norman BN-2 Islander (Serge Van Heertum)
   
Alpha Jet (Serge Van Heertum) (Laurent Cuvelier)
   
French Air Force Xingu (Serge Van Heertum) (Laurent Cuvelier)
   
(Serge Van Heertum)
   
Douglas DC-3 in Air France sheme (Laurent Cuvelier) (Serge Van Heertum)
   
Visit to the engine shop (Serge Van Heertum) Survival section (Laurent Cuvelier)
   
Thanks to Sebastien Eloy for the demonstration... (Laurent Cuvelier) Seatted in a F-16, always a must (Serge Van Heertum)
   
(Serge Van Heertum) C-130H maintenance is also 40... (Laurent Cuvelier)
   
UAV B-Hunter from 80 Sqn (Serge Van Heertum) The presence of Lockheed Martin with a F-35A model...future? (Serge Van Heertum)
   
Some Vehicles... (Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
   
(Laurent Cuvelier) (Serge Van Heertum)
   
(Serge Van Heertum) (Laurent Cuvelier)
   
   
C-130H Hercules...40 years
   
  (Serge Van Heertum)
   
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
   
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
   
(Serge Van Heertum)
   
"Tcholle" and the indians... (Serge Van Heertum)
   
Some Hercules demonstrations... (Serge Van Heertum) (Bruno Ghils)
   

Parachutist at Brussels National...simply amazing (Bruno Ghils)

(Serge Van Heertum)  
   
Waiting for an airfield attack demonstration (Laurent Cuvelier) (Serge Van Heertum)
   
Assault landing and troops attack (Bruno Ghils)
   
Short take off with full power (Laurent Cuvelier) (Laurent Cuvelier)
   
(Serge Van Heertum) Assault landing to avoid the light gun shoot (Laurent Cuvelier)
   
(Serge Van Heertum) (Bruno Ghils)
   
(Bruno Ghils) (Bruno Ghils)
   
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
   
(Laurent Cuvelier) (Serge Van Heertum)
   
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
   
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
   
(Laurent Cuvelier)
   
Last flight of Kolonel Vli "Stef" Seuntjens (Serge Van Heertum)
   
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
   
   
Dassault DA-20 Falcon...40 years
   
  (Serge Van Heertum)
   
(Serge Van Heertum) (Bruno Ghils)
   
(Bruno Ghils)
   
(Laurent Cuvelier) (Serge Van Heertum)
   
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
   
(Laurent Cuvelier) (Serge Van Heertum)
   
   
Federal Police Air Support Unit...20 years
   
  (Serge Van Heertum)
   
MD 520 (Serge Van Heertum) Alouette II (Laurent Cuvelier)
   
Cessna 182 (Laurent Cuvelier) Bambi Bucket (Laurent Cuvelier)
   
Agusta Westlan AW-139 from Netherlands police (Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
   
(Laurent Cuvelier) (Laurent Cuvelier)
   
Eurocopter EC-155B from German police (Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
   

(Serge Van Heertum)

  (Serge Van Heertum)
   
(Bruno Ghils) (Laurent Cuvelier)
   
Eurocopter EC-135 T2 from French gendarmery (Serge Van Heertum) (Laurent Cuvelier)
   
(Laurent Cuvelier) (Laurent Cuvelier)
   
(Laurent Cuvelier) (Laurent Cuvelier)
   
(Laurent Cuvelier) Photon gun... (Serge Van Heertum)
   

Fire fighting demonstration with a bambi bucket (Serge Van Heertum)
   
(Serge Van Heertum) (Bruno Ghils)
   
(Serge Van Heertum) (Laurent Cuvelier)
   

Cargo sling demonstration (Laurent Cuvelier)

  (Serge Van Heertum)
   
Special forces for an intervention (Laurent Cuvelier) (Serge Van Heertum)
   
With the dogs... (Bruno Ghils) (Serge Van Heertum)
   
(Bruno Ghils) Mission accomplished (Bruno Ghils)
   
(Laurent Cuvelier) (Serge Van Heertum)
   
(Bruno Ghils) (Bruno Ghils)
   
(Serge Van Heertum) (Laurent Cuvelier)
   
The spectacle was also provided by Brussels Airport... (Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Laurent Cuvelier)
(Bruno Ghils) (Serge Van Heertum)
Kiss and Ride! (Laurent Cuvelier)

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