The 350th Squadron of the Air Component of the Belgian Armed Forces turned 75 today. And here’s a cool footage of its F-16 Fighting Falcon jets at work around the world.
The 350th Squadron of the Air Component of the Belgian Armed Forces was created on Nov. 12, 1941 at Valley airfield, Wales, during the Second World War, when it operated under British command as No. 350 (Belgian) Squadron RAF and flew the Spitfire painted with the letter codes MN.
The Squadron became famous in several operations like the Raid on Dieppe in August 1942, operation Overlord in Normandy in June 1944, the Battle of the Bulge and the Campaign of Holland and Germany.
After the war, the Squadron remained in occupied Germany for a short time, before heading back home to Beauvechain, Belgium, in 1946 flying the Supermarine Spitfire MK XIV.
Aircraft flown by 350 (F) Sqn include the Gloster Meteor, the Hawker Hunter, the CF-100 Canuck and the F-104 Starfighter.
In March 1980, the Squadron started its conversion on the new F-16, being operational as from January 1982. 350 moved to Florennes Air Base in 1996 where it would ensure its role of Air Defense together with 349 (F) Squadron stationed at Kleine Brogel Air Base, Belgium.
During the subsequent years, the pilots of 350 Sqn and their F-16s actively took part in several operations such as Joint Falcon, Allied Force, Deliberate Force, operations part of the Balkan Air War, flying Combat Air Patrol, Offensive Counter Air and Air Interdiction missions.
In 2005, the Squadron was deployed for the first time in Afghanistan, operating for 6 months from Kabul Air Base and later on from Kandahar, in support to ISAF troops.
The latest operations include Unified Protector in Libya out of Araxos, Greece and operation Desert Falcon in Iraq out of Jordan.
Currently, the Squadron is flying the updated F-16 MLU, equipped with the AIM-120 AMRAAM and the AIM-9 Sidewinder. In the air-to-ground role, the Belgian Vipers can be armed with the latest GPS guided or Laser guided bombs such as the GBU-54.
The following video celebrates the 75th anniversary of 350 Sqn with footage filmed during Red Flag, Cold Response (Norway), Belgium, Netherlands, FWIT (Fighter Weapons Instructor Training) course and much more.
Happy Birthday, 350!
H/T to Thieu De Reyean for sending this over to us!