The arrival of the A400M marks a transition to a new tactical and strategic military transport capability for the Belgian Armed Forces. Ludo Mennes and Frank Visser visited Melsbroek for an update on the activities of the 15th Air Transport Wing
When the Belgium Air Force’s first Airbus A400M Atlas landed at Melsbroek Air Base, near Brussels, on December 22, 2020, history was written. Serialled CT-02, it was the first of seven aircraft destined for 20 Squadron of the 15th Air Transport Wing (ATW). Together with serial CT-01 – owned by Luxembourg – all eight aircraft will be operated from and maintained at the Melsbroek base.
Time for transformation
The commander of the 15th ATW is Col Frank Vandenbussche. While he is a former Lockheed Martin F-16AM/BM (MLU) Fighting Falcon pilot, he is currently flying the Dassault Falcon 7X jet – part of the so-called ‘White Fleet’. He has been in charge of the wing since 2020 and is responsible for the modernisation of Belgium’s air transport fleet.