January 29, 2009 (by Dirk A. Geerts) - Beauvechain AB, home of the 1WG from the Belgian Air Component and a former F-16 base, is again acting as “Deployed Operating Base” for the exercise Deployed Falcon.
BAF F-16AM #FA-119 from the 10th Wing is photographed at Beauvechain AB on January 27th, 2009 during exercise 'Deployed Falcon II'. [Photo by Dirk A. Geerts]
Eight F-16s from the Belgian Air Component will deploy, preparing them for a NATO
About 600 military men and women from the Belgian Defence will be involved in this necessary "national preparation & evaluation cycle". The high operational quality standards specified by NATO HQ to their member Nations are evaluated every 3 year by a Tactical Evaluation "TACEVAL".
NATO decided in 2002 to transform their "Cold War Ops" vision to Deployable/In Place Forces. Since then the assigned forces will be activated as NATO Response Forces "NRF" and High Readiness Forces "HRF". To test the capability of the Air Component to sustain its NATO mission in peace, 3 exercises (2x Deployed Falcon and 1x National Evaluation) will take place before the final Operational Evaluation "OPEVAL" team of aprox 150 NATO evaluators in May 2009 will evaluate the professionalism of the Belgian Air Combat Force.
An Air Combat Force "ACF" will be created with 8x F16A-M and F16B-M from the 2WG (Florennes AB) and the 10WG (Kleine Brogel AB). All tasks assigned to Belgian F-16s including conventional attack, air defense and air reconnaissance will be trained / evaluated. The leading unit is this time the 2WG.
To minimize the costs to the budget of the Ministry of Defence, deployments are no longer outside of Belgium