Goodbye America, Bonjour la France


 The last American and the first French trained military pilots graduated on July 15th 2005 during a wings parade at Beauvechain airbase. Of the six new pilots, only one originates from Class 2002B, all others being graduates of the Royal Military Academy attached to this class after their academic education.


Class 02B

The American Silver Wings

With the graduation of two student of Class 02B, the Belgian participation in the Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training (ENJJPT) programme comes to an end. Belgian and European student pilots have been trained for many years at Sheppard Air Force Base to become military pilots. After successful completion the approximately 55 weeks lasting training syllabus with flights on the Cessna T-37 and the Northrop T-38, they received their USAF wings, the well known Silver Wings.

The French Macaron

The four remaining students of Class 02B were the first to successfully complete the Advanced Flying Training (AFT) in the joint Belgian-French Advanced Jet Training School (AJeTS) in Tours between 11 October 2004 and 17 June 2005. During a ceremony at Tours on July 6th, they were granted a French Air Force pilotís licence and conferred the accompanying FAF wings, the so-called Macarons.


Trainer aircraft at Beauvechain

All six graduates of Class 02B will follow the fighter track during the final phase of their training. This means that they all will return to France to complete the Initial Operational Training (IOT) at Cazaux air base between 18 July 2005 and 21 April 2006. After successful completion of the IOT, which comprises approximately 80 flying hours on Belgian Alpha Jet 1B aircraft, they will move to the Operational Conversion Unit (OCU) at Kleine Brogel air base for six months to learn to fly the F-16.

Text and pictures by

 Jos Schoofs

additional picture by Dirk Geerts

Last updated 29/07/05 14:33   Daniel Brackx