Kleine Brogel, Belgium

Warming-up Photo Call

8 June 2005


On 8 June 2005, Kleine Brogel again managed to impress many aviation enthousiasts by organising a Photo Call on the occasion of a squadron rotation between the resident OCU (Operational Conversion Unit) and the Czech Air Force's 212. Lt. Not only did six Czech built Aero L.159 light weight fighters exercise with the Belgian F-16's for two weeks, but the organisers managed to attract some other visitors as well.


Soon to be taken out of service with the Czech Air Force after a carreer spanning some fourty years is the MiG.21MFN. Only a handful remain in service with 211. Lt, which is now in the process of converting to the SAAB JAS-39C/D Gripen. It had been intended to send two MiG's to Belgium, but one remained behind at Caslav due to technical issues.

Fully unrelated to the Czech visit, but very welcome nevertheless where a pair of French types soon to disappear from the skies forever. The Dassault Mirage 4P strategic reconnaissance aircraft started life as France's nuclear deterrent during the 1960's. Only a very small number remained in 2005, of which 62/CI was one of them. Mont de Marsan's ERS 1/91 will have retired the last remaining ones in late June 2005.

Once the spearhead of the French tactical units is the Anglo-French SEPECAT Jaguar. A pair performed  overshoots at Kleine Brogel. In 2006, the Jags will have gone too, having been replaced by that time with Rafales.

In Germany, the F-4F Phantom still serves in the air defence role, but is now being phased out and replaced with the Eurofighter. This example from the training unit FLZ at Hopsten visited Kleine Brogel for the occasion. It was parked at the flightline among the Czech and French visitors and departed home during the day.

It seems that Kleine Brogel's co-located 31 sq paints one of it's aircraft up in tiger colours each year. FA-94 was the squadron's contribution to the NATO Tiger Meet held at Balikesir, Turkey in 2005. It is seen here on the parallel runway, making it's way to the main runway. 


Last but not least, this USAF C-17A Globemaster III made a full stop during an operational mission. The huge C-17 had remarkably little problems manouevering at Kleine Brogel's runway and taxiway.

Kleine Brogel's base commander and his staff is to be warmly commendend for organising this event and allowing so many enthousiasts through the base's gates. Czech L.159's are rarely seen, a last cance to see the Mirage 4P outside of it's home country was unique and of course, the nice weather played it's bit. According to the organisers, this was only a warming up for the big event in July....

All pictures (c) Hans Rolink