Chronological synthesis of the history of the Airbase Kleine Brogel- 10th Wing.

Second World War
Forming the 10th Wing
Thunderjet period
Thunderstreak period
F-104G Starfighter period
F-16 Fighting Falcon period

6. De periode F-16 "Fighting Falcon".


The conversion to F-16 starts for the pilots of 23rd Sqn. Initially this is done with jets from Beauvechain (they finished their conversion), later new build Block 15 (big tail) aircraft are issued.

After every initial basic conversion (group wise in the OCU), the pilots first have to complete the required operational training flights in their own squadron (day and night navigation flights, attacks with training ammo). Additionally they get theoretical courses, in order to obtain their operational NATO ‘Strike’ qualification.

May 4, 1982:

The F-16 flight simulator is becoming operational, at first solely as link trainer (only the cockpit itself). On June 16th the ‘visual display’ is installed. On June 18th the radar picture simulator is added. This enables the pilots to train their missions with a realistic radar picture.

June 28, 1982:

The last sortie of the TF-Flight takes place. Four single seat and two two-seat Starfighters take part in this ‘Last Flight’.

September 17, 1982:
As a result of the move from Helchteren Barracks back to Kleine-Brogel, the Wing Ops (Wing Operations) is installed in the new COC (Combat Operations Center).
October 14, 1982:
During two days, His Royal Highness Prince Philippe, is hosted by the 10th JB Wing.
He enjoys a back seat flight in a F-16B, piloted by Senior Captain Fransen.

On March 28-29 a Tactical Evaluation ‘Strike’ is conducted for the 23rd Sqn. On April 1st they take over the ‘QRA Strike’ with F-16 from the 31st Sqn (still flying F-104G).
The 23rd Sqn starts a training program to obtain the required individual NATO qualifications for conventional Air-to-Ground missions. Once finished, NATO assigns the squadron as ‘Operational on F16 in dual-role’. At the same time the 31st Sqn starts its F-16 conversion.

April 8, 1983:
Col. Wirtz assumes command of the 10th JB Wing.
September 1, 1983:

As the 23rd Sqn, the 31st Sqn is assigned to NATO as an operational F-16 squadron.
September 26, 1983:
The F-104G Starfighters FX-99 piloted by Senior Captain and the FC-11, by Chief Lemmens and Lieutenant Steens, are flown to the aircraft storage at Koksijde.
On October 4, 1983, the last flight on F-104G is flown by Commander Aerts.
November 25, 1983:
The Operational Conversion Unit F-16 is changed into ’F-16 B-Flight’.
May 30,1984:
The 10th JB Wing receives the ‘Flight Safety Award’ from Lt. Gen. Terrason.
June 6, 1984:

Due to runway works at Leeuwarden, NL the 322nd and 323rd Sqn of the Royal Netherlands Air Force deploy to Kleine-Brogel.
June 6-July 9, 1984:

For the first time Belgian pilots participate in ‘Red Flag’ exercise at Nellis Air Force Base (Nevada, USA). Pilots of both Kleine-Brogel and Beauvechain are joining in. The training flights are flown in an area larger than Belgium. Even live munitions are used which enhances the reality of the exercises.
November 30, 1984:

The RAPCON (Radar Approach Control) is officially inaugurated.
April 29, 1984:

Col. Bauweraerts assumes command of the 10th JB Wing.

July 1, 1985:
The 25th edition of the NATO tiger Meet is organized at Kleine-Brogel by the 31st Sqn. The meeting is attended by 25 delegations and ends with an Open Door on the 5th of July.
As a prank at 4 o’clock in the morning, the 23th Sqn paints in large white letters ‘Home of 23’ on the threshold of runway 23.

May 26, 1986:
For the second time the Wing participates with 11 pilots in ‘Red Flag’ at Nellis, USA.
June-July, 1986:
The Supply Squadron moves from Helchteren Barracks to Kleine-Brogel.
August29, 1986:
Defense Minister F.X. de Donnea visits the 10th JB Wing. He makes a flight in the backseat of an F-16 piloted by Chief Neyens.

This event is covered by a large Press assembly.

September 13, 1986:
The city of Peer accepts sponsorship of the 10th JB Wing. This event is celebrated by a parade and a F-16 six-ship formation fly-by.
During the parade Lt.Gen. Terrasson grants the ‘Flight Safety Award’ to the 10th JB Wing.

October 31,1986:
The 10th JB Wing is relieved of its Nuclear QRA task by NATO.
March 16, 1987:
With six pilots of both squadrons, the 10th JB Wing participates for the first time in ‘Very Low Level’ training flights out of Meknes, Morocco.

The ‘NATO Tiger Meet’ is organized at Montijo Airbase, Portugal. The 31st Sqn wins the ‘Top Flying Squadron’ trophy.
September 1, 1987:
The 10th JB Wing is officially renamed to ‘10th Tactical Wing’ (10 W Tac). September 6, the Wing organizes an Open Door and Airshow.
January 6, 1988:
Pilots of the 2nd Wing at Florennes start their conversion from Mirage V to F-16 in the B-Flight at Kleine-Brogel. During this conversion the first F-16s for the 2nd Wing are taken into service.

January 8, 1988:
The last of the Fouga Magisters leaves the Wing. To improve supervision, all Fouga’s are centralized in the newly established 33th Squadron at Brustem Airbase.

February 24, 1989:
Col. Jansens assumes command of the 10th Tactical Wing.
October 9, 1989:
Four pilots of the 10 W Tac are guests again in Morocco for very low level training.


To be continued…