Text & Pictures: Marc Arys with courtesy of Belgian Air Component © sbap 2014

On June 25, 2014, twenty-one young men and women graduated through the CC Air (Competence Center Air of the Belgian Air Component) at Beauvechain airbase. 12 pilots (7 'Jet', 2 'Transport' and 3 'Helicopter'), 2 Mission Commanders from the 80 Sqn UAV at Florennes, 4 Intercept Controllers and 2 Air Surveillance Operators from the CRC (Control and Reporting Center) at Glons and 1 Meteorologist from the Meteo Wing at Beauvechain. The ceremony was held in presence of Pieter De Crem, Minister of Defence, General Avi Claude Van de Voorde, Air Component Commander and other military and civilian authorities.

The CC Air is tasked with the training of all flying personnel and specialised professional education of a great part of the non-flying personnel of the Belgian Air Component.

 

Training given at the CC Air includes :

- the basic flying training of the pilots on Marchetti SF.260 and the training of the Flight Simulator instructors through the Basic Flying Training School (BFTS)

- the training of the Force Protection personnel and specialists in Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear hazards (Squadron Training)

- training of the airfield fire brigades (Fire Training School)

- the training of doghandlers and their dogs in favor of all units within the Belgian Defence
 

Training under the supervision of the CC Air but given at other units :

- the training of the future fighter pilots on Alpha Jet et Tours and Cazaux (France)

- the training of helicopter pilots at Dax (France)

- the training of air transport pilots at Avord (France)

- the training of the flying personnel non-pilot (1W, 15W and BKoks)

- the training of the meteorlogists (Meteo Wing)

- the training of air traffic controllers (ATCC and CRC)

- the training of the UAV operators (80 Sqn UAV)

 

This Wings Parade was also particular as the godfather of the pilots promotion is Baudouin Carpentier de Changy (April 07, 1931 - JUly 17, 1960). Wilfried 'Wif' De Brouwer gave a brief overview of his dedication and sacrifice during the conflict in Congo in 1960.
Baudouin Carpentier de Changy started his flying career with the 128 Promotion at Goetsenhoven. After graduation he flew Hawker Hunters with the 7 Wing at Chièvres and in June 1960 he was appointed with the the Fire Assistance Flights (FAF) in Belgian Congo. On July 11, 1960 flying his armed Harcard T.6, he was on a mission overhead Matadi protecting the evacuation of Belgian compatriots, when one of his fellow pilots was downed by ennemy fire. The pilot managed to land his airplane in the vicinity of the airfield. Baudouin saw his colleague escaping on foot and without hesitation he landed his Harvard on the runway at Matadi, picked up his colleague and took off before the rebels could react. On July 17, 1960 he escorted an helicopter bound to evacuate some fugitives about 200 km southwest of Leopoldville. The mission commander decided to let the Harvard loiter out of sight and so Baudouin made a reconnaissance overhead the Inkisi riverbridge. He was fired upon by anti-aircraft defence and had to make an emergency landing. Although he survived the landing he was assassinated on scene by the rebels. The helicopter crew who landed to pick up the refugees was captured and also murdered without any further notice.
The aircraft flown by Baudouin Carpentier de Changy was the armed Harvard T.6 4KA, H210.

To honour these facts, Danny Cabooter, chairman of the Stampe & Vertongen Museum at Antwerp, who restored a Harvard in the colours of H210 in 2011 made a fly-by during the graduation ceremony, followed later on by 3 Agusta A109, four Marchetti SF.260 and 3 F-16.

Transport and helicopter streaming Jet streaming
The graduates Lt General Avi Claude Van de Voorde
Mister Pieter de Crem MOD, Baudouin Carpentier de Changy the godfather of the prom and Wilfried 'Wif' De Brouwer giving an overview of the Congo conflict
The parade ground The national colours
Ready for the big moment Congratulations by the Minister of Defence

Aircraft and helicopter fly-by: Agusta A109BA

The dream is alive!
Siai Marchetti SF.260 Lockheed Martin F-16AM
The new graduates wearing their wings The non flying graduates
Danny Cabooter with his North American T-6 "'Harvard" The past and the present

The graduates posing with Mister Pieter de Crem, Lt General Van de Voorde,
Wilfried 'Wif' De Brouwer and Danny Cabooter

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