Together with the 80th anniversary of 1 and 2 sqn, 350sqn painted #FA-115
in this special livery, seen here in flight
On March 3rd, 1980, 350 squadron started its conversion on the F-16 and became operational on January 1st, 1982. The squadron's pilots took part in many exercises: air firing training at Solenzara (Corsica), several DACT (Dissimilar Air Combat Training), as well as international exercises. The best-known are the ACMI (Air Combat Maneuvering Instrumentation) at Decimomanu and in the North Sea, the American Red Flag, the TLP (Tactical Leadership Program) and the Canadian Maple Flag.
In 1993, the "Armed Forces Restructuring Plan" of Minister Delcroix imposed drastic budget cuts on the Belgian Air Force. The disbanding of the 1st Fighter Wing occurred at the beginning of 1996 with 350 squadron leaving Beauvechain and moving to Florennes joining the 2nd Tactical Wing on March 4th, 1996.
Reduced to 12 aircrafts (instead of 18), like the other squadrons of the Air Force, it was quartered with the QRA at the 2nd Tactical Wing at Florennes AB and ensured this role with the other fighter squadrons. Besides its participation in the Central Europe air defence system, 350 squadron was assigned to the Rapid Reaction Forces and may be required to deploy at a very short notice on NATO's orders.
BAF F-16AM #FA-71
of 350sq with 60 year anniversary markings standing at the Florennes TLP tarmac
The 350th squadron ensures air defence missions. But it could be found to ensure conventional offensive missions in support of peacekeeping operations if it needs to be.
A new restructuring plan took place with the project 'Falcon 2000'. The decision was taken to disband the 2nd squadron in 2001. This resulted in the fusion of both squadrons under the 350th squadron, which integrated all the personnel of former 2nd squadron.
In late 2003 the Belgian government announced a further reduction of the F-16 fleet as part of a cost reducing effort for the armed forces. This will mean that 350 squadron will loose 1/3rd of their F-16s again and will keep 12 planes operational in 2015.