New Belgian Air Force OCU Special Tail revealed

Gepubliceerd op 28 februari 2024 om 17:08

© @ocusquadron on instagram

Today, wednesday februari 28 the Belgian Air Force Operational Conversion Unit revealed their new special tail on instagram sponsoring their motto; Semper Vulture (Always a vulture) on one of their F-16BM twinseat jets, the FB-24.

The OCU (Operational Conversion Unit) was founded on September 1, 1987 with the mission to provide basic conversion for all young pilots and the tactical training of future Air Defense pilots. This assignment was carried out from Bevekom (Beauvechain) in Walloon Brabant.

In November 1993, the OCU's mission was modified by the introduction of the Conversion Improvement Program (CIP). This change meant that the complete F-16 conversion of the pilots of the Belgian Air Force was centralized in Bevekom. After the dissolution of the 1 JW in Bevekom on March 4, 1996, OCU was located at the Kleine-Brogel base (10 W Tac). To this day, the OCU is still located in Kleine-Brogel, but its mission has completely changed over the years. In the past, the basic conversion of an F-16 pilot (in the OCU) consisted of academic training, about 40 hours of flight simulator and about 100 flights. So many years later, the conversion has evolved along with the F-16. All types of updates and new weapon systems under the F-16 have been incorporated into the current basic conversion: BQTC or Basic Qualification Training Course. This consists of 79 theory lessons (+/- 220 hours), 33 flight simulator flights of 1.5 hours (49.5 hours), 61 flights (82 hours), various briefings and tasks.

In addition to the basic conversion, the OCU is also responsible for the reconversions of F-16 pilots who return after a longer period of time without the jet experience. To perform these tasks, the OCU has 5 IPs (Instructor Pilots), including a squadron commander and an OPS. As well as the support of several visitor IPs from the other squadrons and COA (Comopsair), ASD (Aviation Safety Department), ... The OCU has changed a lot over the years. Not just location, assignment and training. The squadron logo has also undergone some changes. But the main mission still remains the same: training our new pilots to become a young, experienced element for 1 of the 4 operational squadrons. 

Or as an old CO said: “There is nothing more important than putting milk in to babies.” However, the future looks completely different with the arrival of the F-35. In 2017 we celebrated the 30th anniversary of the OCU. 40 years will be a great challenge… “Semper Vulture”


© @ocusquadron on instagram