MILAVIA > Specials > Kleine Brogel Spotters Day 2007 Last updated: 20 May 2009
MILAVIA Military Aviation Specials

Special Report : Kleine Brogel Spotters Day 2007


KLEINE BROGEL SPOTTERSDAY 2007

Last July, the Belgian Air Component's 10th Tactical Wing at Kleine Brogel air base organized another edition of its spotters day. Giampaolo Tonello came from Italy to see why this particular spottersday is so popular.

Kleine Brogel is perhaps one of the most well known military bases for military aviation enthusiasts in Europe. Every year it hosts the 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.

Operational Integration Exercise

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). The COMAO was the main scenario, 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. Together with the Combined Air Operations Centre in Uedem, Germany, a complex scenario was set up, including all the elements of modern air operations. These included attacks on ground targets from low and medium altitudes, and aerial refueling provided by a marvellous Royal Air Force VC-10 from Brize Norton with had a anniversary marked tail. The DACT scenarios included mock fights of Portuguese F-16s versus RAF Typhoons and Czech Gripens versus Belgian F-16s and also an one on one fight between two Czech Gripens. The CSAR demonstration was held by three Czech L-159 ALCAs, two Belgian A-109 and one RAF Puma HC.1 helicopter.

20 Years OCU

The Belgian Operational Conversion Unit was established in 1987 at the Bevekom air base. Since 1996 Kleine Brogel hosts this unit, which provides the conversion training of the Belgian fighter pilots on the air force's single and main jet fighter - the F-16 Fighting Falcon. One of the unit's F-16BM two-seaters was provided with a specially marked tail for the 20 year anniversary of the OCU.

Aircraft

In addition to the aircraft participating in the OIE and the F-16s of Kleine Brogel's squadrons, several others visited the event. The table below displays most if not all aircraft which could be spotted at the base on the 17th. Additionally, it should be noted that on Monday 16th An-26 and Gripen aircraft returning from RIAT transitioned through Kleine Brogel and a Czech An-26 supporting the Czech contigent.

Country Type Qty Serial/Code
Belgium F-16AM 14 FA69, FA98, FA99, FA100, FA101, FA107, FA111, FA118, FA123, FA131, FA132, FA133, FA134, FA136
F-16BM 6 FB08, FB10, FB20, FB23, FB24
A-109BA 3 H22, H26, H30
SA.313B Alouette II 1 A79
SA.316B Alouette III 1 M01
Alpha Jet E 1 AT10
BN-2 1 OO-MMM
S-4 2 OO-LUK/41, OO-GWB/29
CM-170R 1 MT35
ERJ-145LR 1 CE03
Falcon 20E 1 CM02
Piper L21 1 LB06
PC-7 1 N60LT
Sea King 1 RS02
SF-260M 1 ST35
Czech RepublicGripen C 2 9240, 9244
Gripen D 1 9819
L-159A 3 6048, 6053, 6054
Denmark F-16AM 4 E-599, E-605, E-608, E-611
France Alpha Jet E 1 E23/314-UG
Mirage F-1CR 2
Mirage 2000N 2 329/4-BH, 349/4-BM
Rafale B 2 104/7-HH, 318/7-HM
Rafale M 4 2, 3, 5, 9
Germany F-4F 1 38+54
Tornado IDS 6 45+04, 45+28, 45+57, 45+91, 45+92, 46+02
Greece A-7E 1 160560
TA-7C 1 155774
F-4E 2 01512, 01525
F-16C 2 113, 119
Italy F-16ADF 4 MM7239, MM7243, MM7245, MM7259
MB-339CD 2 MM55088/61-160, MM55090/61-162
Netherlands AS-532U Cougar II 2 S-442, S-453
Portugal F-16B/BM 2 15118, 15139
Spain CN-235M 1 05-C038/35-25
SF-5B 1 AE9-010/23-04
Turkey F-16C 1 930688
F-16D 1 930695
United KingdomPuma HC.1 2 ZA937, ZA939
Typhoon T.1 1 ZJ803/BA
Typhoon F.2 1 ZJ910/BV
VC-10 1 XV105

Conclusion

The Kleine Brogel's spotters day was for sure one of the main events in Europe this year (second only to the Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford perhaps), but the “operational” feeling of the spotterday was very exciting and something different from other events. It was certainly interesting to see some older aircraft like the Greek F-4E Phantoms and A-7 Corsairs, waiting for clearance to take off together with the most modern fighters of the latest generation like the Eurofighter Typhoon or Dassault Rafales as well as some mixed formations approaching the base. Moreover for the occasion of the Spotterday some aircraft were also present that did not take part in the OIE but filled up the beyond-interesting static show. In addition to the exercise sorties, the Belgian F-16 Demo also did a short demonstration as did the classic Fouga CM-170R Magister. The two joined up for a memorable formation flight as they did on several 2007 air shows. Also the Belgian Air Component's Sea King helicopter gave a SAR demonstration. The spotters and photographers present at the event certainly had their hands full with the on-going activity during the entire day. Hats off to the organisation for hosting such an excellent event for the military enthusiast.

So now we are eagerly awaiting the next spotterday at Kleine Brogel, can the Belgian Staff do any better than this?

A-109
Belgian F-16 Demo
Belgian F-16s
Italian F-16ADF
Four Italian F-16s returning
Greek F-16C
Fouga Magister
Hungarian Gripen D on Monday
AdlA Mirage 2000N
CSAR Demo
Rafale M
Belgian Sea King
Luftwaffe Tornado
RAF VC-10 tanker
Fouga Magister
Rafale M
AdlA Rafale B
Tornado IDS
RAF VC-10
Czech L-159s
Czech L-159A ALCA
RDAF F-16AM
Belgian F-16AM
Alouette II
Belgian F-16 Demo
Belgian F-16
Italian F-16ADF
F-16
Greek F-4E
Czech Gripen
Greek A-7E Corsair II
F-16 breaks away from the Fouga Magister
AdlA Rafale B
Aeronavale Rafales returning
RNLAF Cougar
RAF Typhoon F.2
20 Years OCU
Fouga Magister popping smoke on return
Rafale M turning
Luftwaffe Tornado IDS
F-16BM
Typhoon F.2 arrival
Belgian ERJ-145
F-16AM
MB-339CD
Belgian Sea King
Belgian F-16 Demo
Belgian F-16
F-16
Four Italian F-16s in formation
Belgian F-16BM
Greek F-4E
Czech Gripen
Two Czech L-159s
Fouga Magister and F-16 formation
Aeronavale Rafale M
Spanish SF-5B arriving on Monday
Luftwaffe Tornado
Typhoon deploying chute on landing
A-109s leaving for CSAR Demo
Italian MB-339CD
Greek A-7E and TA-7C
German Tornado pair
Gripen D
Puma loadmaster
RAF Puma HC.1
Tornado IDS
Gripen close-up
Greek F-16C

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Report and photos by Giampaolo Tonello ( view portfolio ) and Niels Hillebrand ( view portfolio )