2nd squadron (BAF)

"Comet" 

2 sqn "Comet" (BAF)
Status:
Disbanded
Version: F-16A/B block 20 MLU
Role:Multirole
Tailband: N/A
Motto: Ut Fulgur Sulca Aethera (As the flash of lighting crosses the heavens)
Badge: A red 'comet' on a blue background surrounded by a golden finishing line.
Disbanded on April 20th, 2001.

Sideways profile for 2 sqn in a standard 1995-1997 timeframe lay-out.

F-16 History

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]

Aircraft Markings History

1989 - 1995

A blue tailband with the town logo of Charleroi (who is the wings' godmother) together with the 'Comet' squadron logo underneath the Belgian flag adorned the F-16s in this timeframe.

1995 - 1997

The tailband was changed to the wild boar's head of the 2nd Wing. An 'FS' tail code for Florennes AB was added in the center of the tail. This was only a temporary marking that wasn't painted on all aircraft and ultimately wasn't accepted by the Air Force staff.

1997 - 2001

All squadron logos of the Belgian F-16s have been removed after the MLU conversion.


Unit History

  • 1917: Activation of the squadron in Dunkerque-Les Mo√®res (France)
  • 1917: 'Nieuport' XI
  • 1917: 'Nieuport' XVI
  • 1918: Disbanded
  • 1947: Activation of the squadron in Florennes
  • 1948: 'Spitfire' Mk. XIV (part of 2 Wing)
  • 1951: F-84E 'Thunderjet'
  • 1952: F-84G 'Thunderjet'
  • 1957: F-84F 'Thunderstreak'
  • 1970: Mirage VB
  • 1989: F-16A 'Fighting Falcon'
  • 2001: F-16AM 'Fighting Falcon'
  • 2001: Disbanded

Deployments

'Decisive Endeavour'
Villafranca AB, Italy (start operation to December of 1996)
From the start of the Belgian Air Force F-16 operations in former Yugoslavia till December of 1996 it was part of 'Decisive Endeavour'. This was an operation in support of the UN-led IFOR troops stationed in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
'Deliberate Guard'
Villafrance AB, Italy (December of 1996 to June 20th, 1998)
When the UN forces in Bosnia-Herzegovina changed their mandate resulting in a name change from IFOR to SFOR, also the air operations were given another name. Ultimately, 'Deliberate Guard' formed the air asset for the SFOR troops.
'Determined Falcon'
Villafranca AB, Italy (June 15th, 1998 to June 16th, 1998)
Operation 'Determined Falcon' was a one-day operation to show force over Kosovo and Albania. NATO fighters patrolled this airspace coming only within 10nm of Serbian territory. This operation was meant as a warning to Serbian politicians to stop the bloodshed in this Yugoslavian province.
'Deliberate Forge'
Amendola AB, Italy (June 20th, 1998 to end operation)
Operation 'Deliberate Forge' was the successor of operation 'Deliberate Guard'. When the SFOR troops were reorganized into a smaller force, the covering air campaign also received a new name. This operation continued until the end of Belgian Air Force operations in Yugoslavia, which ended in the summer of 2001.
'Allied Force'
Amendola AB, Italy (March 23rd, 1999 to June 10th, 1999)
Operation 'Allied Force' was the codename for the almost three month long air strikes against Serbia. 2 sqn wasn't yet equipped with the MLU F-16 and only flew air support sorties during the conflict.

F-16 Airframe Inventory

Photos

Errors and Omissions



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