The 2nd squadron was the first Belgian Mirage V squadron to be converted to the F-16. These F-16s where from the OCU version equipped with the F100-220E engine and other advanced features. The first F-16s to arrive in the squadron came in the course of 1988. Conversion started quickly and was finished only one year later.
Main task of this squadron was a continuation of the Mirage's role, being so-called 'mud-movers'. This meant low-level air-to-ground missions and interdiction. After some time, this tactic was left for a new medium altitude tactic dispersed among other F-16 squadrons within the Belgian Air Force and also the other NATO allies.
Besides this 'mud-moving' role, the 2nd squadron was also responsible for day-time intercepts. Besides 349 and 350 squadrons, who where still based at Beauvechain AB at that time and who where responsible for all-weather intercepting, the 2nd squadron was assigned this additional role in case of emergency and to have sufficient intercepting resources available at all times.
BAF F-16A block 15 #FA-100
of 2 sqn normally based at Florennes AB seen here at the Open House at Kleine Brogel AB in 1991. [Photo by Ed Groenendijk]
With the first major restructuring after the end of the Cold War, the squadron lost 6 aircraft of its operational strength. Keeping 12 aircraft operational for NATO duty from 1996 onwards, just as all the other Belgian Air Force F-16 squadrons.
In 2001 another reorganization took place called 'Falcon 2000'. Because of the fact that all squadrons had a multi-role task at that time, it proved more efficient to have 18 aircraft in every squadron. What was feared for some months became reality and 2 squadron faced the axe, just after having received their updated MLU airframes. It was finally disbanded on April 20th, 2001, transferring all its assets tot the 1st squadron. Hereby ending 54 years of operations from Florennes AB. The 2nd squadron was also the unit that flew the least number of years with the F-16 within the Belgian Air Force, only accumulating 12 years on the type.
BAF F-16A block 15 #FA-132
with the shortly applied tail code 'FS
' for Florennes AB and the tail band is for the 2nd Wing. [Photo by Mike Kopack]