Beauvechain Air Base : A new page in the history


Text : Serge Van Heertum & Pictures : Serge Van Heertum - SBAP


September 9, 2010 is a new page in the history of the air component. In fact, besides the change of the commanding officer, this date is the official start of the Wing Heli integration within the 1st Wing, marking the beginning of the end of the military installations at  Bierset Air Base that will totally disappear in a few months.
 A ceremony was held at Beauvechain to underline this event, but also to welcome the arrival of the new base commander of the well known Brabant base, and the new leader of the centre of competence air (C C Air : responsible for the formations and recruiting). This formal ceremony was hosted in presence of many dignitaries and guests to milestone the history of Beauvechain Air Base



Arrival of a French Alpha Jet From Tours Air Base but with two Belgian pilots The AT14 under the colors
Agusta A109 H23 recently Beauvecahain based The Alpha Jet from BA705 of Tours
Siai Marchetti SF.260D, another homebased aircraft A Xingu from Avord Air Base
The armed troops from the 1st Wing of Beauvechain
Arrival of the 1st Wing and Wing Heli banners Troops inspection by General Van Caelenberge and Brigade General Laurent
Takeover to the 1st Wing of the Wing Heli banner and troops inspection performed by the new base commander Colonel R. Brecx
Salute to the Air Component Chief The CC Air troops
The flypass of the new coming Agusta's Anti Tank version
Siai Marchetti SF.260 from the 5th Squadron of Beauvechain And finaly a fly by of four F-16AM
General C. Van De Voorde during his speech The honoured men of the day
Who is who ?

Born in 1958, Patrice Laurent starts his military formation in 1974 at the Royal Cadets School of
In 1977 he enters the Royal Military School class of
the 132  Polytechnical promotion and gets his civil engineering degree in December 1982.
From 1983 till 1985, he follows his pilot formation
and makes the conversion on Mirage V at the 8th Squadron of the 3rd Wing.
From 1985 till 1987 he is operational in the 2nd Squadron of the 2nd Tactical Wing based at
In 1988, he starts his F-16 conversion at Beauvechain OCU and Kleine Brogel B flight. After this coversion
he gets back to Florennes as F-16 pilot with the 2nd Squadron freshly re-equipped F16’s.
In September 1989, he went back to the Royal Military School (Royal Superior Institute for Defense IRSD)
to start his superior officer formation.
After this graduation, he returns to the "comet" squadron as an operation officer.
End of 1991, he is promoted to the rank of Major and makes a mutation to the planning division of the head quarter.
In 1993 he went back to the ISRD and obtains his Headquarter graduation in June 1994.
After a conversion to Instructor Pilot on Alpha Jet, he became Commanding Officer of the 11th Squadron based at Brustem between October 1994 and October 1996. At the end of 1996 he became project officer (Operational computing) at Brussels headquarter.
In March 1998, he is promoted to the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel and in October 1998 he returns as military professor at ISRD and is also responsible of the "air" section of the Royal Military School.
In 2001, he became flying group commander of the 1st Wing of Beauvechain.
In September 2003, the Lt. Col return to the Royal Military School as teacher for the pilots and air controllers.
He became Colonel in December 2005. In December 2006 he became director of the Air Competence
Center of Beauvechain and in May 2007 became also base commander of the 1st Wing. On September 2010, he left the 1st Wing and obtained the rank of Brigade General. He will take-over the function of "Deputy Director" in the European Air Group based at High Wycomb in the UK.


Brigade General AVI Patrice Laurent, Ir  
Born in 1960, Robert Brecx starts his studies at the Royal Military school in August 1979 and is integrated
in the 134 Polytechnical promotion. His officer formation completed, he starts his helicopter pilot training in 1984.
Graduated in October 1986, he joins the 18th Squadron LtAvn based at Merzbrück not far way of Aachen. During 2 years as a pilot in the 18th Squadron, he also becomes cultural officer, transmission officer and branche 2 officer.
From 1995 till 1998 he is attached to the Headquarters of the multinational Division Central Airmobile
(MND(C)) from the NATO located at Rheindahlen in Germany. His function there is headquarter officer for the anti tanks helicopters.
After his staff function, he moves to the Light Aviation School in August 1998 where he re-opens the study office.  In December 2001, he became Lieutenant-Colonel and mid 2002 he is taking the function of 17th anti tank squadron commander.
In March 2004, when the light aviation is reorganised
in Wing Heli of the Air Component,  Lt.Col Brecx
became "OSN" Superior Flying Officer.
In September 2004, he his affected to the
Headquarter in Brussels as responsible for the Belgian Defense helicopter fleet.
In June 2008 after his Colonel promotion, he takes the function of commanding officer of the Wing Heli in Bierset. This funtion was held till the disbanding of
the unit and the integration in the 1st Wing.
And finally on September 09th of this year, he takes over the function of base commander of the 1st Wing
in Beauvechain.





Colonel AVI Robert Brecx, Ir


Born in 1966, Stephane Pierre starts his military studies at the Royal Cadets School located at Laeken (Brussels) between 1981 and 1984.
After he enters the Royal Military School and is integrated in the 139 polytechnical promotion for his engineering studies, he simultaneously starts his pilot formation in 1986. After his graduation held in
December 1989, he is integrated in the 88B auxiliary promotion. He then continues his pilot formation in Goetsenhoven on Siai Marchetti SF.260 and later on Alpha Jet in Brustem.
After getting his wings, he is attached to the 3rd
Tactical Wing of Bierset to make his conversion on Mirage V.
In 1992, he is appointed as Instructor Pilot on Siai Marchetti SF.260 and is integrated into the
5th Squadron. He will than perform different functions : Air Security Officer, Flight Commander and finally Operation Officer (OPS). At this period, he is also given the task to organise the move of the 5th Squadron to Beauvechain in 1996.
After this preparation, he left the Squadron and starts his superior officer studies at IRSD.
After his graduation in 1997, he returns to Beauvechain as Alpha Jet instructor and operation officer of the 7th Squadron.
Promoted to the rank of Major in 1997, he takes over the function of operations and training officer of the 1st Wing flying group.
In September 1999, he goes back to the IRSD to follow the Headquarter superior course.
After the graduation, he is instructed to take the
function of 5th Squadron Commanding Officer for two years.
In August 2002 he left Beauvechain for the Headquarter in Brussels as Chief of material resources, section training aircraft and UAV. During this period he will guide the different modernisation projects for the Siai Marchtti SF.260 and Alpha Jet. His responsibility also includes  the technical Alpha Jet aspects and the establishment of the Advanced Jet Training School (AJETS) at Cazaux in France.
After four years in this function, he returns to Beauvechain as Aviation Safety Directorate (ASD) Commander and is in charge of prevention and investigations in military air crashes. During this
function, he is promoted to the rank of Colonel in 2008.
In June 2009, he left Belgium with his family for a one year study in the USA. In June 2010 he gets a Master
of Science in National Security Strategy at the National Defense University in Washington DC.
 Colonel AVI Stephane Pierre was also Help Officer of his Majesty the King Albert II between 1997 and 2009.
Today, he takes the function of Air Competency Center Commander at Beauvechain Air Base.

Colonel AVI BEM Stephane Pierre, Ir  


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