Text & Pictures: Alain Debras  - © sbap 2019

This July 11, 2019 took place in Florennes (2 Wing Tac) the ceremony of handing over command, under the presidency of Major General Avi BEM Frederik Vansina commander of the Air Component and in the presence of many civil and military personalities.

After three years of well-commanded missions, events and strategic decisions (participation in coalitions against Daesh, anti-terrorism protection missions in Belgium and preparation of equipment choices for the future - F35 and MALE drones), the BEM engineer pilot colonel Didier Polomé handed over the baton to the BEM engineer pilot colonel Philippe Goffin, who becomes the 26th commander of the airbase.

Colonel Goffin is familiar with the Florennes airbase since he spent most of his carrer there as a pilot at the 2nd Squadron and then as CO at the 350th Squadron - a return to basics in a way.

Colonel Polomé he will soon take up a new mission in NATO as Assistant Chief of Staff (ACOS) Strategic Planning and Policy at the Supreme Allied Commander Transformation based in Norfolk, Virginia, USA.
For this, he will be promoted to Brigadier General in the coming days.

To both of us, we wish full success in their new mission.

Many thanks to Colonels Polomé and Goffin as well as to Adjudant Fontaine (and his team) for their welcome and the facilities granted for the realization of this report.

 The BAF band takes place Adjt Fontaine leads the set up of the ceremony
Setting up the ceremony
Gen Van Caelenberg, LtGen Vandevoorde and Prince Michel de Ligne The standard of 2 Wing takes place
 The standard - MajGen Vansina - Colonel Polomé greets MajGen Vansina
Standard in place MajGen Vansina and Col Polomé review the troops
 And salute the assistance Colonel Polomé's speech

  Colonel Polomé reviews the troops
 Beautiful fly pass of 4 F16 from 350 Sqn
 Colonel Polomé farewells to the troops Emotional moments
 The guests warmly applaud Colonel Polomé
 Introduction of the new Commander, Colonel Goffin
Colonel Goffin takes the command End of ceremony - the standard leaves
 And so the troops … Job well done
Colonel aviateur BEM Didier Polomé, Ir

Didier Polomé began his career at the Royal Military Academy in 1988 and then followed a training as a fighter pilot in the United States. He then joined the 350th Fighter Squadron in Florennes in 1997 where he participated in NATO operations over former Yugoslavia in 1998 and 1999. In 2002, at the end of his candidate's course Major at the Defense College, he became chief of operations of his squadron and then assistant to the operations of the Flight Group at the 2nd Tactical Wing in Florennes.

In 2004, Didier Polomé was sent to the NATO Air Staff at Ramstein where he coordinates the air policing mission in the airspace of northern Europe, and in particular the organization of this mission in the Baltic countries. He is also responsible for organizing several major international air exercises. NATO has finally appointed him to its headquarters in Kabul as a mission director to direct air support to troops deployed in Afghanistan.

In 2007, Didier Polomé returned to Belgium to become commander of the 350th Fighter Squadron in Florennes. He led the first Belgian F-16 detachment in Kandahar, Afghanistan in 2008. At the end of his turn as squadron commander in 2009, he was selected to attend the senior officer courses at the University of Air at Montgomery Alabama.

Upon his return in 2010, Didier Polomé was appointed as head of crisis planning at the Defense Headquarters. This position gave him the opportunity to manage the planning of Belgium's contributions to operations in Afghanistan, Libya, Mali and Lithuania. Three years later, he was admitted to the National War College in Washington DC.

In the two years that followed, Didier POLOME assumed the functions of commander of the operational division of the Air Component. His responsibilities included the management and operational readiness of all Defense air assets, including fighter and transport aircraft, helicopters and intelligence air assets, which were engaged in various operations, such as combat operations of the international coalition in Iraq and Syria.

Since june 2016, Didier Polomé has been the commander of the 2nd Wing Tactic in Florennes. During the last three years, the Florennes base has participated in numerous operations both abroad, as in Jordan, in the Baltic countries and in Mali, and on the national territory, with the contribution of its unit to reinforcement of the police in the fight against terrorism.

Finally, arriving in mid-2019 at the end of his three-year mandate as commander of Florennes airbase, he was appointed to become Assistant Chief of Staff (ACOS) Strategic Planning and Policy with the Supreme Allied Commander Transformation of the NATO in Norfolk, USA.

 Colonel aviateur BEM Philippe Goffin, Ir

Colonel Philippe Goffin, civil engineer, was born in Liège on 24 January 1971.
Philippe Goffin joined the 144th polytechnic promotion of the Ecole Royale Militaire in 1989. After his studies and training as a fighter pilot in Belgium, he joined the 2nd Fighter Squadron in Florennes in 1998 with which he participated in the operations of the NATO over the former Yugoslavia.

In 2004, Philippe Goffin was trained as a test pilot on the Cold Lake base in Canada.

He then worked in the Directorate General of Material Resources as responsible for flight tests of new capabilities and modifications of the F-16 and training aircraft.

From 2007 to 2009, he worked at Edwards' California airbase in the 416 Flight Test Squadron as a "Lead Test Pilot" for the M5 version of the F-16 MLU.

In 2011, Philippe Goffin took command of the 350th Fighter Squadron during which he led the Belgian F-16 detachment in Kandahar, Afghanistan, in support of ISAF missions.

In 2011, he obtained a Master in Strategic Studies after a year of study at Air War College Maxwell AFB in the United States.

He then joined the Department of the General Staff in Evere in charge of the capacity development of the Air Component.

In 2015, he became Commanding Officer of the Aviation Safety Directorate, responsible for the Air Component accident prevention and investigation program.

Colonel aviator Philippe Goffin totals more than 2900 hours of flight on about thirty types of planes and gliders.
This day, he becomes the 26th commander of 2 Wing Tac.


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