Belgium's National Day   
July 21, 2006

Text & Photos : Marc Arys and Serge Van Heertum - S.B.A.P.©



July 21 is the date of the Belgian National Day.


On July 21, 1831, Leopold 1 took the oath as king and as such founded the first monarchy and state of Belgium. 2006 saw the festivities of 175 years of Belgium's existence and also 25 years of federalism. Throughout the year several commemoration ceremonies are being held as well as all kind of 'birthday' related events.


In regard of this 'birthday' commemoration, the annual military march- and flypast was accordingly extended.


The marchpast consisted a.o. of the various groups of the Belgian Defence Forces :


    - Formation (schools)

    - Department of staff Operations and Training (Ops & Trg)

    - Operations

    - Components' group :

                                        - Land Component

                                        - Marine Component

                                        - Air Component

                                        - Medical Component


with each component showing it's troups and rolling material (European Union Battle Group).


The marchpast was concluded by the civil security services, including the integrated police, the civil protection, the fire-brigade, the 100-service (Belgium's 911) and the Red Cross.



As usual, the National Day commomeration, is opened by a military flypast with aircraft from the various groups of the Air Component. The 2006 flypast included airplanes from the French Air Force (within the scope of the Belgian-French co-operation), from the Royal Netherlands Air Force and the Royal Netherlands Marine.


The 2006' flypast consisted of :


        - 6 Alpha Jets 'smoking' the Belgian National Colours from the 1 Wing at Beauvechain, but based at Cazaux airbase in France.

        - 3 Sea King Mk 48 helicopters from the 40 Sqn at Koksijde

        - 3 Alouette III helicopters from the Marine Component based at Koksijde together with 1 Lynx helicopter from the Royal Netherlands Marine

        - 6 Agusta A-109 helicopters from the Wing Heli at Bierset

        - 3 Alouette II helicopters from the Wing Heli at Bierset

        - 1 C-130 Hercules from the 15 Transport Wing at Melsbroek

        - 1 Dassault DA900 from the 15 Transport Wing at Melsbroek

        - 6 Siai SF260D marchetti from the 1 Wing at Beauvechain

        - 3 CM170 R Fouga Magister from the 1 Wing at Beauvechain

        - 6 Alpha Jets - 3 Belgian and 3 French, all based at Tours in France (within the scope of the Advanced Jet Training School)

        - 3 Embraer Xingu from the French Air Force based at Avords

        - 12 F-16 from the 2 Tactical Wing at Florennes

        - 2 F-16 from the Royal Netherlands Air Force

        - 12 F-16 from the 10 Tactical Wing at Kleine-Brogel


This flypast held also an historical feature. July 21, 2006 : the last time we could see the Fouga Magister over Brussels !


For this years' flight, Marc & Serge formed part of the military flypast. Marc seated in one of the CM170 R Fouga Magister and Serge in one of the Siai SF260M Marchetti.

Col. Avi. "Mike" MINNE was in charge of Fouga MT-40 and of Marc, as where Capt. Avi. "Tcholle" DEROUBAIX was in charge of Serge and SF260M

Serge & Marc also gave their pocketcameras to two studentpilots flying the Alpha Jet at Cazaux airbase in France. The Alpha Jets' flypast photographs are the credit of Günther VANDEPUTTE and Sebastien RITTEN. The photographs taken an the apron are courtesy of Danny CARELS.


Many thanks and many happy landings !!!!


But again, more than words, pictures say it all.... so do have a look at our photopages ! The pictures are spread between various pages :


        - a general page


        - a Marchetti page


        - a Fouga page


        - an Alpha Jet page.


A complete explanatory page on the briefing and ensuing Marchetti and Fouga flight will be on line soon.


We would like to express our thanks to the Minister of Defence André FLAHAUT for granting us these flights and to the General Staff and Public Relation Service of the Belgian Air Component and as such Cdt. Thierry Wiame for his obligingness.

We also like to thank the commander of the Beauvechain airbase, Lt. Col. Avi. Thierry DE SCHREVEL and the members of his staff for having us amongst them and especially taking care of us before, during and after our flights.



Text & Photos : Marc Arys and Serge Van Heertum - S.B.A.P.©


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