Text: Jan de Clercq & Pictures: Jan de Clercq & Armée de l'Air  - © sbap 2019
 
Saint-Dizier - Robinson Air Base

Saint-Dizier is a front-line French Air Force fighter base located in the West of Saint-Dizier, the Haut-Marne department of the Champagne-Ardenne region in northwestern France.

Short History
Saint-Dizier has a long aviation history, with an early French military aircraft landing close to the city on 11 August 1910. An Armée de l'Air airdrome was established in 1913, which has been in use ever since, being used for combat operations during both 20th-Century World Wars.
Seized by the Germans in June 1940 during the battle of France, Saint-Dizier was used as a Luftwaffe military field during the occupation. During the Liberation of France, the airfield was seized by Allied Forces during September 1944 and taken over by the US Army Air Force. The IX Engineer Command repaired the war-damaged base and it was designated by the Americans as Saint-Dizier Airfield or Advanced Landing Ground A-64.
On July 5, 1945, the control of the airfield was turned over to the French authorities.

Dassault Rafale
The Rafale is a twin-jet fighter aircraft able to operate from both an aircraft carrier and a shore base. The fully versatile Rafale is able to carry out all combat aviation missions: air superiority and air defense, close air support, in-depth strikes, reconnaissance, anti-ship strikes and nuclear deterrence.
The Rafale entered service with the French Navy in 2004 and with the French Air Force in 2006. With more than 30,000 flight hours in operations, it has proven its worth in combat in Afghanistan, Libya, Mali, Iraq and Syria.

Since 2006 Saint-Dizer had the Dassault Rafale B/C assigned. It was the first French Air Force Base to be assigned with this new model.

 
The following Squadrons are based in Saint-Dizier:
 
EC01.004 "Casgogne" - EC01.007 "Provence" - EC02.004 "La Fayette" - ETR03.004 "Acquitaine"
 
The last Squadron is a Rafale Trainings squadron. Therefore some Navy versions, Rafale M's are assigned to the Esquadron de Transformation (ETR 03.004).

24 hours a day, 7days a week, Saint-Dizier is taking care of the safety of the French Airspace with the "Quick Reaction Alert" (QRA). Therefore some Rafales are armed with 4 live Mica Air to Air missiles to intercept unidentified aircrafts in French airspace. The Mica is a multitarget, all weather, fire-and-forget short and medium-range missile system. It is intended to use both by aircraft as individual missiles as well as ground units and ships, which can be equipped with the rapid fire MICA Vertical Launch System.

With several updates and many to come, the Rafale is the front line multirole fighter aircraft for the French Airforce with many years to come.

 
  The base entrance
(Jan de Clercq©)
The past and the present
(Archives Armée de l'Air©)
Jaguar and Rafale above Saint-Dizier airbase
(Archives Armée de l'Air©)
Preserve Republic F-84F Thunderstreak EC 3/1 Argonne
(Coll Denis Eusicom)
Dassault Mirage 2000N N°304 out of duty
(Jan de Clercq©)
Rafale B with the Sioux head on landing
(Jan de Clercq©)
The Rafale N°138 from the 30eme Escadre deployed at Saint-Dizier
(Jan de Clercq©)
Aerospatiale AS555AN Fennec from EH03.067 "Parisis"
(Jan de Clercq©)
Rafale C in full clean configuration
(Jan de Clercq©)
Rafale M N° 34
(Jan de Clercq©)
Rafale C N° 129 4-GH from ETR03.004
(Jan de Clercq©)
CASA CN-235-200M EH 3/67 has a permanent plot slow QRA on base
(Jan de Clercq©)
The 62-IM is based at Evreux
(Jan de Clercq©)
Rafale B N°309 4-HB from the N124
(Jan de Clercq©)
Nose close up on the 4-HB
(Jan de Clercq©)
French Navy Rafale M N°41
(Jan de Clercq©)
Rafale B N°343 4-FJ wearing the EC01.004 "Gascogne" insigna
(Jan de Clercq©)
Rafale B from EC01.004 "Gascogne" above the Haute-Marne landscape
(Armée de l'Air©)
Air refueling training for the 4-IL
(Armée de l'Air©)
The Rafale B 4-FG leading the Mirage 2000N 125-AL.
This is already the past...
(Armée de l'Air©)
The N° 343 4-FJ with the SPA 79 insigna on the right tail side
(Jan de Clercq©)
The N°129 4-GH showing the insigna of the Escadrille 4B3
(Jan de Clercq©)
Entering the shelter
(Jan de Clercq©)
Rafale M N° 34 taxi back
(Jan de Clercq©)
This Rafale M is owned by the Flotille 12F
(Jan de Clercq©)
Mission accomplished
(Jan de Clercq©)
The N° 309 4-HB on taxi after the mission
(Jan de Clercq©)
This aircraft is coming from the 30eme Escadre EC 02.030 Normandie-Niemen
(Jan de Clercq©)
The N° 305 4-EC with the SAL 28 (Elephant) insigna
(Jan de Clercq©)
Nose close up on the N° 305
(Jan de Clercq©)
The N° 308 4-HA from SPA 79 towed in the shelter
(Jan de Clercq©)
Rafale M N° 41 back from mission
(Jan de Clercq©)
Deployed at Saint-Dizier for the Navy pilots formation
(Jan de Clercq©)
The French Navy and the French Air Force together for the safeguard of peace
(Jan de Clercq©)
 

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