Melsbroek Air Base; Belgiums Home of Military Air Transport and Federal Police Air Support
Melsbroek Air Base is the military section of Brussels Airport -also known as Zaventem- and is the home base of 15th Air Transport Wing of the Belgian Air Force. The wing comprises 20th and 21st squadron. The air base, located near Belgiums capital Brussels, is also home of the air support of the county's Federal Police. .
20th Squadron - 15th ATW
20th Squadron operates 11 Lockheed C-130 Hercules military transport aircraft and consists of about 72 crewmembers, making it one of the largest units in the Belgian Air Component. In 1971 the Belgian Government placed an order for 12 C-130s. Between July 1972 and May 1973 the C-130s were delivered to the Belgian Air Force. Although the C-130s are in service for more than 40 years, the Belgians only lost two of their planes. The first C-130 (CH-06) crashed during the landing at Eindhoven Airpot, The Netherlands, on July 15, 1996, killing 34 people. The second C-130 (CH-02) was destroyed on May 5 2006 during a hangar fire at Brussels Airport. In 2007 a new Hercules was delivered to replace the destroyed one.
21st Squadron - 15th ATW
21st Squadron is also known as the Liaison and Long-Haul Flight. It currently operates several types of aircraft: one Airbus A321, two Embraer 135, two Embraer 145, one Dassault Falcon 900 and two Dassault Falcon 20.
The most Eastern hangars along the Melsbroek flightline belong to the Air Support of the Federal Police. Their air fleet consists of fout McDonnell Douglas Explorer 900/902 helicopters, two Explorer 520 helicopters and two Cessna C182 airplanes.