report by : Pierre-Yves LECOEUR
Every year Kleine Brogel AB is hosting an International Spotters Day. This time the Belgian Staff of the 10th Tactical Wing did a wonderful job organizing it during the OIE (Operational Integration Exercise) and the celebration of the 20 year anniversary of the Belgian OCU (Operational Conversion Unit) on July 17th, 2007.
The OIE ran from July 16th until 18th with the 17th as the main exercise day and provided for differents scenarios such as COMAO (Composite Air Operation), DACT (Dissimilar Air Combat Training) and CSAR (Combat Search and Rescue) . Two COMAO missions were flown in reserved airspace over south Belgium and Germany, a Low and High COMAO. The purpose of the exercise was to improve and train tactical co-operation and skills in a multinational environment. The missions included all the elements of modern air operations. All the panel of attacks on ground targets from low and medium altitudes were proposed to the crews . The DACT missions , classicaly opposed various type of aircraft in air combat (manoeuvres ); then the SAR missions were led by 2 Belgian A-109 plus a Puma HC.1 from Royal Air Force .some aerial refueling missions were provided by a RAF VC-10 .
The OCU ( Operationnal Conversion Unit ) was established in Kleine-Brogel AB in 1996 and provide conversion trainings of the fresh fighter pilots called to fly the BAF main jet fighter : the F16AM / BM.For the occasion a F-16BM received a special decorated tail with anniversary markings .
Took part to the missions : F-16 from Belgium – Denmark –Greece – Italy – Portugal and Turkey with A,B C and D models . Alpha-jet from Belgium and France . Also for France were Mirage F1 – M2000 and Rafales from FNY and A d l’A . From Greece A-7 anf F-4E . Also from Italy 2 MB-339CD . For Germany EADS Tornado and an F-4F . Spain sent a single SF-5B and a CN-235M . UK sent 2 Eurifighters with th VC-10 and Pumas. From Czech Republic went 2 JAS-39C + a D model with 3 L-159A . KLU sent 2 AS-532U Cougar II .
With a nice weather , this jouney was a real great success ; and all our thanks go to the perfect organisation . I would have said the “ Always perfect organisation “