60 Years of Commando Training Centre


The Commando Training Centre at Marche-les-Dames opened its door for the public on May 1st to celebrate the 60th anniversary of its establishment in 1947. It was an excellent opportunity to become acquainted not only with the traditional activities of the Commandos like close-combat, climbing and survival, but also with some of their more recent roles like those of marksman and sniper. The latter are extremely specialised personnel in navigation and map reading, camouflage and survival, infiltration, intelligence gathering and telecommunications and of course long distance firing.


The Air Componentís Heli Wing was present with an Astazou-powered Sud Aviation SA.318C Alouette II and was used to demonstrate free-fall parachute jumps by members of the Parachutist Training Centre in Schaffen.


 Alouette II A68 made several flights with parachutists from the Training Centre in Schaffen.


The small badge with the letters VHA underneath the Training Centreís insignia indicates that this parachutist participated in Very High Altitude jumps from C-130 Hercules aircraft. Such jumps are made to insert troops behind enemy lines by night, unseen and unheard, and can take place up to 40 kilometres from the envisaged insertion point.


 Text and picture by

© Jos Schoofs (May 2007)

Last updated 02/05/07 18:42   Daniel Brackx