Reims-Champagne AFB (F) - 2007
Eindhoven-Welschap Aviation Society (EWAS) arranged a base visit to reconnaissance squadron ER02.033 'Savoie' at Base Aerienne 112 Reims-Champagne. Despite the rain we enjoyed our day of operations with the people of the French Air Force.
BA 112 houses about 40 Mirage F1CR aircraft. These are equally divided over ER01.033 'Belfort' and ER02.033 'Savoie'. The Mirage F1 CR is a dedicated reconnaissance version of the Mirage F1 fighter jet. Next to the internal cameras (under the cockpit), it can carry several reconnaissance pods at the centerline station. Most recent operations of the units are in Chad and Afghanistan. Both deployments are putting high demands on both aircraft and personnel. Next to the reconnaissance task, ER02.033 has a training duty. Occasionnaly Maroccan and Jordanian F1 crews are trained in France.
Our day started with a presentation about BA 112 and ER02.033. We were informed about the equipment, tasks, history and future of the units at BA112. After the presentation we witnessed the departure of twelve F1CR aircraft. A good French lunch in the Officers Mess was followed by a visit to the hangars, a very unique opportunity. In the afternoon we had the chance to follow the starting procedures (in a shelter) very close. The day was concluded with a visit to the preserved aircraft at the gate. I would like to thank Joris van Boven and Stefan Jongen (EWAS board) and all the people of BA 112 for making this visit possible.