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50 Years strong, the C130H in Belgian Air Force Service

Photos: Belgian Air Force - Kristof Moens

The Belgian Air Force are not shy when it comes to special paint scheme's and the crews of their C-130's are not either, with some of the most interactive static displays you will find at any airshow.

With a little over 10 months to go, before the C130 is consigned to the BAF history books, its only fitting for the type to receive a commemorative paint scheme marking its Golden anniversary in Belgian service. The Hercules has been the BAF's work horse for 50 years, serving in all Belgian theatres of operation since 1972. The C130 has been a favourite for airshow goers for a number of years too, with lively and interactive static display's, loud music and walkaround tours from the enthusiastic crews. We can only hope that the tradition will be continued, when the BAF receive their full compliment of 7 A400M's!

The Belgian Air Force released the images with the statement below:

“The 20th Tactical Air Transport Squadron of the 15th Wing Air Transport in Melsbroek has been equipped with the Lockheed C-130 Hercules cargo aircraft since 1972. After almost 50 years of loyal service within the Belgian Air Force, our world-famous workhorses will retire at the end of this year. For almost half a century, the Belgian C-130 Hercules aircraft, crews, technicians and support staff have more than once proved their dedication and professionalism during many national and international assignments and operations. In order to thank the 20Sqn Tactical Airlift and her Mighty Hercules for their efforts and 'Tenacity' spirit, CH-01 has a unique paint scheme.”

The aircraft CH-01 'Tenacity' was as its number suggests, the first C-130 to be delivered to the Belgian Air Force and remains in service currently. The 15th Airlift Wing will become an 8 aircraft operation, supporting and operating an additional A400M in the colours of the Luxemburg Armed Forces. We hope to see CH-01 in person before her retirement later this year at an airshow near you!

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